Bill to crack down on distribution of fentanyl analogs moves through Senate to governor’s desk
The daughter of one of AB 335 sponsor’s, state Rep. John Nygren, R-Marinette, was recently charged with distributing fentanyl that resulted in a fatal overdose of a pregnant woman.Image By: Photo Courtesy Wisconsin State Legislature
Drug dealers could be eligible for harsher sentences for selling fentanyl analogs, a type of synthetic opioid with a high rate of fatal overdoses, under a bill passed by the state Senate Tuesday.
The legislation would classify fentanyl as a Schedule 1 drug, allowing harsher punishments for those convicted of possessing or selling it. The drug killed almost 100 people in 2016.
Fentanyl is a drug often prescribed in the form of a patch to cancer-patients experiencing severe pain. When used illegally, fentanyl is often added to heroin to increase sensation. The synthetic opioid, most commonly created in Mexican and Chinese laboratories, is 100 times stronger than morphine and about 50 times stronger than heroin.
Two milligrams of fentanyl is powerful enough to result in a fatal overdose.
Fentanyl is famously the cause of death for Michael Jackson and Prince. In Wisconsin, the daughter of state Rep. John Nygren, R-Marinette and a leader in the state’s legislative battle to combat the opioid epidemic, was recently charged with providing the fentanyl that killed a pregnant woman.
“More often than not, a person suffering from an opioid addiction had no idea how strong the drug they’re buying off the streets can be,” Nygren said. “A person buys heroin, he or she doesn’t necessarily know if it’s laced with something more powerful, like fentanyl.”
Assembly Bill 335, amended by the Senate to include more types of fentanyl analogs, passed the Senate
“Efforts like AB 335 will help reduce the illicit fentanyl found on the street and, in turn, saves lives,” Nygren said.
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