OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – One Oklahoma Senator wants to add a ‘three strike’ rule to misdemeanor drug convictions, upgrading the latest charge to a felony unless the person agrees to seek addiction help.
Sen. Micheal Bergstrom, R-Adair, has filed Senate Bill 108 to amend the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Act and reform criminal law related to drug possession.
“Throughout my district I have had community leaders describe the damage being done to individuals, families and communities by drugs, whether it’s meth, heroin or prescription opioids,” Bergstrom said. “They point to the weakening of the law in 2016 that made possession of these dangerous drugs a misdemeanor.”
Bergstrom said addictions don’t tend to decrease over time but usually worsen.
“Because of that, those with addictions are more likely to make destructive choices as the addiction worsens, whether stealing to fund their needs, damaging relationships, or, worse, putting others, like children, in danger,” Bergstrom said. “My legislation strengthens penalties for repeat drug offenders who refuse to get help while recognizing the root of these crimes by requiring access to rehabilitation programs for those who want to escape this downward cycle.”
SB 108 provides that three or more convictions for dangerous drugs, not marijuana, can see the charge escalate to a felony. However, a way to avoid the felony conviction would be to complete a program such as drug court or drug rehabilitation.