Rep. Hayes Supports Measure to Increase Penalties for Fentanyl

Posted on May 16, 2019 by jpheasant


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HARTFORD – State Representative Rick Hayes (R-51) co-sponsored a bill that when implemented, would create tougher penalties for those who manufacture, distribute or sell fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid.

“As a former member of law enforcement, I believe the passing of this bill is a great step forward in helping our current officers with the battle against this dangerous and addicting drug,” Rep. Hayes said.  “Increasing the penalties for those who traffic fentanyl is just one of the ways we can help those who are on the front lines battling this epidemic.”

This update to state statutes would remove fentanyl from the synthetic drug category, a drug created using man-made chemicals rather than natural ingredients, and instead place it into the same classification as heroin. Under current Connecticut state law, fentanyl carries a lesser criminal penalty than heroin.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), fentanyl is a synthetic opioid 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. In 2017, more than 670 deaths in Connecticut were reported as a result of fentanyl.

HB-5524 will now awaits action in the Senate.