After rash of overdoses, Senate advances bill to punish Fentanyl traffickers

Fentanyl

Photo Credit: Patch.com

A Senate panel unanimously advanced a bill on Tuesday that would significantly increase the penalties for possession of large quantities of the powerful opioid Fentanyl, a drug that has led to a wave of overdoses in Sacramento recently.

Fentanyl, which is reported to cause a euphoric high 50 to 100 times more powerful than heroin, caused 29 overdoses in the Sacramento area in a seven-day period last month, nine of which were fatal, according to the Sacramento Bee. The drug killed 30 people in Orange County in 2015 and 62 people in Los Angeles County in 2014.

The bill, if approved, would add Fentanyl to a list of dangerous drugs allowing stiffer sentences based on weight in an effort to target kingpins and cartels. The bill’s narrow focus on major suppliers is what drew the support of Democrats, who were skeptical of traditional “tough on crime” policies that target low-level offenders and addicts and flood prisons.

Sen. Pat Bates, R-Laguna Niguel, said the bill would “cut the head off the drug cartels and stop it at it’s source.” Bates, a former Los Angeles County social worker and Sen. Bob Huff of San Dimas are both sponsoring the bill.

Distribution of Fentanyl is already illegal, but this bill would add penalties per weight. For example, an amount in excess of one kilogram would add three years to a sentence, four kilograms or more would add five years and 10 kilograms or more would add 10 years.

Further action

While the bill focuses on top dealers, legislators called for further action. Sen. Loni Hancock, an Oakland Democrat who chairs the Senate Public Safety Committee, said it was necessary to reach out to young people and other potential users about the effects of Fentanyl. Bates agreed that further action was needed, that “allocating resources to the rehabilitation and certainly treatment,” is “extremely important.”

“But we really have to stop the import of these very dangerous drugs,” Bates told CalWatchdog of the pending bill. “It is a public health crisis.”

Sen. Jeff Stone, R-Riverside County, who ran his own pharmacy prior to his time in the Legislature, called the drug “the nuclear bomb of street drugs.” Doing what seemed to be on-the-spot calculations, Stone said one kilogram was enough for 4 million lethal doses.

7 comments

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  1. Spurwing Plover
    Spurwing Plover 6 April, 2016, 08:23

    And yet Govenor Moonbeam wants all guns confiscated but supports so call medical marjuana Dope is truely for dopes

    Reply this comment
  2. Richard Rider
    Richard Rider 6 April, 2016, 08:55

    The cartels doubtless support this bill. They will NOT be prosecuted under this measure, but it will help keep prices high and profit margins huge.

    Prohibition — the stricter the better — has ALWAYS been supported by organized crime. Their obscene profits depend on it!

    Reply this comment
    • Rex the Wonder Dog!
      Rex the Wonder Dog! 6 April, 2016, 14:36

      The fact is 99% of the time the POOR people are sent to the Pen for long, lengthy sentence under these “get tough on drugs” laws….fills our over populated prions with more low level offenders at a cost of $65K per year, of which $64K goes to the compensation f GED educated prison guards (who love these kind of laws).

      Reply this comment
  3. Dork
    Dork 6 April, 2016, 18:39

    “organized crime. Their obscene profits depend on it!”

    Our Government has a much bigger stake in keeping the War on Undocumented Possession of Controlled Substances going, that is the principle reason for NOT Closing the Border. Hell we Armed the Cartels and Launder their Money, every last one of the “Too Big To Fail” Banks have Plead Guilty and paid a fine. WE OWN the Cartels. We have No-Go Zones in Arizona where Citizens are prohibited because of the dangerous traffickers. Hell 2/3 of ALL Police Officers Nationwide jobs depend on it, Entire Govt Agencies, Millions and Millions of Government Workers(Looters) Jobs depend on it, and they are Union Members.

    We Need the War on Undocumented Possession of a Controlled Substance more than you will ever understand.

    Reply this comment
  4. desmond
    desmond 6 April, 2016, 20:00

    Do not be surprised if Hillwitch takes guns away and rounds up the her supporters like Ted and Seesaw to be taken to recycling centers to save society from their health care costs. Of course, seesaw’s hubbie will celebrate at the Hofbrau the “permanent Disappearance” of his hagnag.

    Reply this comment
    • Rex the Wonder Dog!
      Rex the Wonder Dog! 6 April, 2016, 22:44

      Do not be surprised if Hillwitch takes guns away and rounds up the her supporters like Ted and Seesaw to be taken to recycling centers to save society from their health care costs.
      Seesaw may have passed. She has not posted at all the last few months…or she could have become feeble and incapacitated, been committed to a nursing facility by her hubby, preventing her from posting online…. :'(

      Reply this comment
  5. bob
    bob 7 April, 2016, 06:20

    A true Colliefornia (as Ahnode calls it) story

    http://www.sacbee.com/news/weird/article70401722.html

    Reply this comment

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Bob HuffJeff StoneLoni Hancockpat batesfentanyl

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