Sacramento Bee: Letters: We must confront fentanyl scourge

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Re “Potent drug tied to fatal overdoses” (Page 1A, March 29):

Fentanyl has been making headlines nationwide and has contributed to other overdose crises, and potentially contributed to six deaths in Sacramento County. Fentanyl abuse has become a major problem in Orange County, portions of which we represent, where four people died of overdoses last year, including a 19-year-old.

Unlike other drugs, fentanyl is extremely dangerous to anyone who may come into contact with it, including first responders who may not be immediately aware of its presence.

That is why we introduced Senate Bill 1323 last month that would add fentanyl to the list of drugs such as heroin and cocaine that are subject to criminal penalty enhancements by weight. Our bill specifically targets traffickers, not users, so we are hopeful it will earn strong bipartisan support in the Legislature.

While our bill will not end illicit fentanyl use, it would assist law enforcement agencies in their effort to protect the public.

SEN. PATRICIA BATES, R-LAGUNA NIGUEL
SEN. BOB HUFF, R-SAN DIMAS

Published by the Sacramento Bee