Orange County Register: Letters: As dangerous as heroin and cocaine

Friday, March 18, 2016

Re: “Potent problem: Fentanyl, a deadly drug used to spike heroin and cocaine, returns to O.C.” [Front page, March 16]:

Jenna Chandler’s article underscores the need to crack down on fentanyl drug trafficking.

As her article vividly demonstrates, fentanyl abuse has become a public health problem nationwide. Tragically, it has hit close to home, where four people died of fentanyl overdoses in Orange County last year, including a 19-year-old from South Orange County.

Unlike other drugs, fentanyl is extremely dangerous to anyone who may come into contact with it, including law enforcement officers 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 single-handedly end illicit fentanyl use, it would assist the Orange County Sheriff’s office and other law enforcement agencies in their effort to protect the public. The Register article emphasizes the need for the Legislature to approve SB1323 this year.

Pat Bates
Laguna Niguel
State senator, 36th District

Bob Huff
San Dimas
State senator, 29th District

Published by the Orange County Register.