The Alabama Senate moves to stiffen penalties for the distribution and trafficking of fentanyl. The drug is a powerful synthetic opioid blamed for a spike in overdose deaths. Senators voted unanimously for the bill.
The bill’s sponsor, Senator Cam Ward says the drug is being mixed with heroin and it is driving up overdose deaths dramatically. Ward said state penalties for fentanyl possession are now low, and the bill would make the penalties similar to those for heroin.
Under the new penalties, a person caught with one-half of a gram to one gram of fentanyl would face a possession with intent to distribute charge, a Class B felony, punishable with 2 to 20 years in prison. The legislation now moves to the Alabama House of Representatives.