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State senators announce anti-fentanyl legislation | Main stories

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) — State Sen. Sally Turner (R-Bison) and Deputy Senate Minority Leader Sue Razin (R-Morris) held a press conference Tuesday to unveil legislation that would introduce new offenses and penalties for those who knowingly sells scheduled fentanyl drugs.

“Every year this epidemic becomes more serious as the number of deaths continues to rise. It’s not just something that’s happening in a far away country anymore, it’s happening everywhere,” said Senator Sally Turner. “As legislators, we have a responsibility to take action and protect the people who are the targets of this terrible poison. Every day that we do nothing, more lives are lost.”

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50-100 times stronger than morphine. fact sheet from the DEA. Due to its potent nature, fentanyl can easily cause an overdose in opioid users who are unaware of its presence in drugs such as heroin.

Senate Bill 4221 would amend the Illinois Controlled Substances Act to create a new Class X felony that carries a sentence of 9 to 40 years in prison for the illegal sale of any schedule drug, such as Adderall or Vicodin, that contains a detectable amount of fentanyl.

“In 2021, nearly 70,000 people ages 18 and older died in incidents involving synthetic opioids, with 90 percent of those deaths involving fentanyl. That’s the equivalent of one plane crashing every day,” said Senator Sue Rezin. “In Illinois, we see a jump in synthetic opioid deaths from 87 in 2013 to 2,672 in 2021. This means that in less than a decade, Illinois has seen a nearly 3,000 percent increase in overdose deaths from synthetic opioids. We cannot and must not continue to turn a blind eye to this staggering trend.”

The legislation would also target those who use electronic devices to sell fentanyl, creating a Class 1 felony for those who use electronic communication devices to facilitate the controlled trafficking of substances containing any amount of fentanyl.

The legislation will be introduced during the legislative process this session with a veto.

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