Announcement of the Fentanyl Poisoning Prevention Act

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Victims of Illicit Drugs (VOID), the parent organisation that speaks on behalf of loved ones who can no longer speak for themselves, is encouraging parents across California to sign a petition asking the legislature to raise sanctions to dissuade traffickers from poisoning children with fentanyl. The petition was launched at a news conference attended by Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris, the author of Assembly Bill 2246, and Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes, the sponsor of the legislation aimed at aligning punishments for fentanyl trafficking and cutting this deadly narcotic off at the source.

“Far too many children, exactly like my 16-year-old son Daniel, are being deceived to death by these nefarious actors who knowingly and willingly peddle this poison disguised as pharmaceutical grade trademarked pills to unsuspecting children, and they’re getting away with Murder,” said Jaime Puerta, President of VOID. AB2246 highlights the necessity for these murderers to be held accountable for their conduct.”

 

STOP FENTANYL FOOD POISONING

 

Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris, the bill’s sponsor, stated, “Every day, more than ten Californians die as a result of fentanyl.” However, keep in mind that these are not merely figures and statistics. These are real people’s lives that have been taken. I presented AB 2246 to tackle the fentanyl traffickers who are to blame for the disaster. We must ensure that those benefitting from fentanyl understand the repercussions of poisoning our children and that the punishment will be proportionate to the crime.”

“AB 2246 is the proper way to assist California combat the fentanyl issue,” stated Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes. Those who benefit from our children by illegally distributing this lethal substance must be held accountable and face consequences commensurate with their actions. This legislation will demonstrate that Californians are dedicated to keeping fentanyl out of our neighbourhoods.”

“Fentanyl is cutting short the lives of our children and hurting the communities that are left to pick up the pieces,” said Orange County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Al Mijares. As the Orange County Department of Education works with local school districts to increase mental health supports and services for students throughout the county, it is time to punish those responsible for placing this lethal narcotic in the hands of our children accountable.”

Two troubling phenomena have significantly increased the hazards of fentanyl: the deceitful use of fentanyl in counterfeit tablets and the use of social media to trade illicit narcotics to young people.

AB 2246 presents many solutions to the situation. It creates a punishment of 20 years to life in prison for the distribution of fentanyl that results in death. Possession of fentanyl is currently a minor violation that results in a citation and eventual release. AB 2246 proposes making possession of 2 grammes or more of fentanyl a crime. The current law also creates severe penalties for selling drugs like as heroin and cocaine in close proximity to young people, such as near schools or playgrounds. This measure would add fentanyl to that list. Fourth, in response to the increased distribution of fentanyl via social media, AB 2246 increases the punishment for illegally selling fentanyl online. Finally, this measure classifies fentanyl analogues as a schedule I substance. Fentanyl analogues are chemical duplicates of fentanyl that are illegally made. Importantly, because fentanyl has medical use, this bill does not modify its status as a schedule II drug.

 

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VOID | Victims Of Illicit Drugs (stopthevoid.org) also highlighted a documentary produced by Dominic Tierno and Christine Wood that is being used nationwide by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, Sheriff’s Departments, as well as Federal and private entities to educate school children and the general public about the dangers of fentanyl; it is available online in English and Spanish.

The Assembly Public Safety Committee will consider AB 2246 in April.

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