Back on January 30, a man in Maryland died from a drug overdose. He was just 25 years old. Now, six months after his death, two people have been charged and accused of selling the drugs to him.
It appears that the man and a co-worker purchased the drugs from a 53-year-old woman. They allegedly bought both Suboxone and Klonopin.
Reports indicate that the man who died was dropped off at a house at three in the morning. His body was then discovered at 12:11 p.m. Sometime in between those two events, he overdosed on the drugs.
It is worth noting that efforts have been made to change Maryland state law so that criminal charges can be given to those who sell drugs to people who later die while using those drugs, but no such laws exist at this time. This means the two can't be held directly responsible for the man's passing. They can simply be given standard drug charges for possession and distribution.
The case is complicated. The charges are aimed at both the co-worker and the woman who originally sold the drugs. However, even if state laws had been passed to create a criminal link between the sale and the death, experts have noted that the co-worker may be able to fight the charges by saying he was never a dealer, but just bought a small amount of drugs and gave some to the man who died for his personal use. He didn't buy large amounts to distribute, as dealers do.
The woman could also claim she never even sold drugs to the young man who passed away. She sold them to the co-worker, and whatever happened after that was out of her control.
Lawmakers have been trying to get these laws passed so that an overdose can result in further charges for the dealer, and it's important for residents to keep an eye on these efforts to see if changes are made in the future.
Source: Frederick News Post, "Drug charges filed months after man died from overdose," Jeremy Arias, accessed July 28, 2016