House leader wants fentanyl treated like other drugs

Themis Klarides_566516

The leading Republican in Connecticut’s House of Representatives hopes lawmakers will pass legislation that treats offenses involving fentanyl like other drug crimes.

House Minority Leader Themis Klarides of Derby said Wednesday’s “it’s a shame” similar bills in past years have cleared the General Assembly’s Judiciary Committee, only to die later on in the legislative process, often due to inaction in the Senate.

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Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency says is 80-to-100 times stronger than morphine.

Connecticut’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner reports that 760 people in the state died from fentanyl overdoses last year. That’s a 12 percent increase from 2017 and four times higher than in 2015.

The bill amends the definition of “narcotic substance” to include fentanyl and fentanyl derivatives.

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