Gov. Scott Signs Fentanyl Trafficking Bill Into Law
Florida has moved forward with stiffer penalties for drug dealers, holding them accountable for their part in the opioid epidemic that is gripping the state. Under the new law signed by Gov. Rick Scott, dealers could face murder charges if their customers overdose and die using fentanyl, a cheap, deadly painkiller.
Gov. Scott said he was proud to help fight this national epidemic that has “taken the lives of too many Floridians.”
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid used in medicine to treat pain, but over the past few years South Florida drug dealers have begun mixing it into heroin and pressing it into fake pharmaceutical pills. Most of the time users don’t even know they’re buying fentanyl.
Dealers mix it in a blender with drugs that include caffeine, Xanax, and heroin, said a Broward County Sheriff’s detective. “It’s just a roll of the dice with what you are putting in your arm.”
Fentanyl was the leading cause of overdose deaths in Florida during the first half of last year, causing 704 deaths.
In fact, fentanyl is so powerful that it sent two West Palm Beach officers to the hospital after they accidentally inhaled airborne residue while testing capsules of the drug. Said the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Jim Boyd, “I was proud to help combat the death and destruction that fentanyl abuse has on communities throughout the state.”
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Read the full story at Sun-Sentinel.com.