Question: Should Drug Dealers In Your Opinion Receive Harsher Sentences Than Other Criminals?
Donald Bohanon: I don’t think sentencing should be any stricter for dealers in comparison to other criminals or users for that matter. Some may argue that punishment for dealers should be harsher because they supply the drugs and I see the logic in that position but dealers are just that dealers. A dealer is just someone who sells drugs to make money. They supply a sought-after service but certainly bear some responsibility. But 95% of the responsibility falls on the head of the drug users.
Drug users alone have put themselves in their own tragic circumstances by using the drugs. They themselves use the drugs of their own volition. It may have been as a result of curiosity or whatever reason but the users themselves bear most of the responsibility for their circumstances. No one put the needle in the arm of the user. Or the pipe in the mouth of the user. These are decisions the user alone bears responsibility for. They alone made the choice to smoke meth or crack or shoot up heroin, meth, or cocaine, etc. So it’s obviously ridiculous for the user to blame the seller for their condition.
The user based on their own personal choices unfortunately have become the dregs of society. No one forced them to use drugs. No one put a gun to their heads and forced them to use. No one forced them to become the dregs of society. They alone made the decision to become junkies. Those same junkies will tell you if they couldn’t get it from one person they would go to someone else to get it. Which I feel further validates my statements. Sadly and unfortunately this is just the way it is. So one could argue that users themselves are undermining society in that regard without being assisted by anyone.
So they should receive harsher sentences. I believe the seller bears some responsibility maybe 5% in comparison to the user for the reasons outlined. But I don’t think sellers should receive unfair sentences when you also consider they themselves are just symptoms of a bigger problem. Street-level sellers are themselves supplied by bigger distributors.
And those distributors in many cases are in high positions and or work in concert with bigger distributors. So the street level dealer is just a symptom themselves of a much bigger problem. And certainly shouldn’t receive unfair sentences in comparison to any other crimes. There would be no dealers/ sellers if it weren’t for user demand. If all the users around the world decided they were never going to use drugs again the drug sellers would cease to exist. Drug users are responsible for and or create drug dealers.