Posted on May 15, 2019 by Greg MacKinnon
HARTFORD – During Tuesday’s House Session, State Representative David T. Wilson (R-Litchfield) voted to strengthen and expand the state’s existing drug penalty laws. The bill, which was approved unanimously, classifies fentanyl as a narcotic and increases penalties associated with possession and other related crimes.
“The opioid epidemic is not slowing down. We continue to lose too many members of our communities to addiction. A way in which we can proactive, is to try and limit the availability of lethal drugs like fentanyl from being readily available to the public,” explained Rep. Wilson. “This law is aimed at deterring individuals from use, by strengthening penalties associated with possession, and goes further in increasing the fines and penalties associated with dealing.”
What is fentanyl? According to the federal Centers of Disease Control, it is a substance that depresses one’s central nervous system and respiratory functions and is estimated to be 80 times more potent than morphine and hundreds of times more potent than heroin.
“Fentanyl is so strong that it is often mixed in with other substances, often times creating a lethal cocktail of several substances. That is why it was critical to classify it on the same level as other illegal drugs,” said Rep. Wilson. “It’s synthetic in nature, so it’s easy to package and transport. A smaller amount can mean a greater profit margin for those preying on individuals battling addiction.”
Overdose deaths related to fentanyl are on the rise. Consequently, it was critical for state lawmakers to put forth an actionable method to limit its availability.
The bill heads to the State Senate for further action.