Bill introduced to add fentanyl to trafficking laws
The House Judiciary, Rules and Administrative Committee introduced a bill this session that would add fentanyl to the drug trafficking statute and add a mandatory minimum prison sentence. Rep. Chris Allgood, R-Caldwell, introduced this bill House Bill 67.
The bill, which would introduce a mandatory minimum prison sentence of three years for those possessing between 7 and 14 grams of fentanyl. The bill also states a “mixture of” fentanyl weighing at least 7 grams would qualify.
Possessing 14 to 28 grams of fentanyl would have a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and 28 grams or more would carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison.
Fentanyl is currently the leading cause of death among Americans in all age categories, races and income levels. Recently some Idaho Coalitions were shown the Faces of Fentanyl wall at the DEA office in Washington D.C. The wall shows the grim reality that this drug takes as many lives as are thrown at it.
The bill also increases the amount of heroin a person must possess to qualify as a trafficking charge to 7 grams, up from the current 2 grams.
Possessing less than 7 grams of an illicit drug is still illegal, but under this bill, wouldn’t count as trafficking.
Some legislators have an issue with the Mandatory sentence requirements worried that someone simply using the drug would get the same time as a drug dealer or someone trafficking these drugs.
The problem with Fentanyl is that you can't treat it like any other drug currently being abused by the public. Fentanyl is extremely potent and it doesn't take much to kill.
The other issue is that drug dealers are adding Fentanyl to other drugs to give them more of that high effect that drug addict's are seeking. So the legislators are trying to make the punishments fair when Fentanyl doesn't play by their rules.