New bill would make punishment for fentanyl manufacturing and distributing more severe

Selling or dispensing a scheduled drug would carry a punishment of nine to forty years in prison. (Photo courtesy: Flickr/File)

By Dave Dahl

SPRINGFIELD – A bill would make the punishment for fentanyl manufacturing and distributing more severe. But it faces an uncertain fate in an environment in which supermajority Democrats are reluctant to expand penalties.

Selling or dispensing a scheduled drug would carry a punishment of nine to forty years in prison. That includes prescription drugs such as Adderall and Vicodin, both of which contain fentanyl. The bill also creates a crime – with a fine of up to $100,000 – for using electronic communications in the furtherance of trafficking any drug that includes fentanyl.

“Nationally, nearly 70,000 people from the age of 18 and older died in 2021 from synthetic opioid-related incidents, according to the CDC,” said one of the sponsors, State Sen. Sue Rezin (R-Morris) at a statehouse news conference Tuesday. “And 90 percent of those deaths were fentanyl-related.

“This is the equivalent of one plane crashing each and every day.”

Rezin adds – if that happened, it would be all over the news, unlike the fentanyl crisis.

Dave Dahl can be reached at News@WJBC.com.

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