DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado lawmakers will soon unveil legislation to crack down on fentanyl, the powerful opioid driving a spike in overdose deaths in the state.
The bill had not been filed as of Wednesday afternoon. Sources told FOX31 the measure:
- Increases penalties for high-level dealers of fentanyl
- Will include an enhancement penalty for distribution resulting in death
- Will include medical-assisted treatments for low-level offenders
- Supports good Samaritan laws, which shield people calling 911 if they report an overdose
- Increases funding for fentanyl test strips
- Allows immunity for law enforcement and public health providers who test to ensure there’s no fentanyl in the drugs
In a statement, Attorney General Phil Weiser said the bill “is a much-needed stride forward to remove this deadly poison from our streets.” Weiser also urged the legislature to evaluate the penalties for fentanyl possession and to provide more resources to law enforcement agencies to investigate fentanyl trafficking.
Colorado has seen more than 1,500 fentanyl-related deaths since 2015.
Law enforcement officials have said no recreational drug is safe from being laced with the drug, which can kill in tiny amounts. It often laces other drugs like cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and even marijuana. Dealers are also putting fentanyl in fake prescription pills made to look like Oxycodone.