RALEIGH, N.C. — Prosecutors have a new tool to help reduce the number of people dying in North Carolina from opioid overdoses, WTVD reports.
On Monday, Governor Roy Cooper signed into law the “death by distribution” act.
It allows prosecutors to charge drug dealers with second-degree murder.
Lawmakers and law enforcement say it is needed to put away high-level drug dealers.
The felony charge for the illegal sale of drugs that results in an overdose death allows for a punishment of up to 40 years in prison, according to WTVD.
The bill includes a “Good Samaritan” clause that protects from prosecution doctors who prescribe an opioid for a legitimate medical purpose and pharmacists.