DENVER (KDVR) — A bipartisan group of lawmakers has formally introduced the controversial Fentanyl Accountability and Prevention Bill on Friday.
The bill is sponsored by Rep. Alec Garnett, Rep. Mike Lynch, Sen. Brittany Pettersen and Sen. John Cooke and makes the unlawful possession of fentanyl weighing more than 4 grams a level four drug felony. The bill aims to increase penalties for high-level dealers of the deadly substance.
Before being formally introduced, the bill attracted negative responses from Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen for its lack of attention to the possession of small amounts of fentanyl, less than 4 grams.
“What I can say is that I’m very disappointed,” Pazen said. “Disappointed that possession hasn’t been addressed and when we are talking about fentanyl, we’re talking about something completely different here.”
A look inside the Fentanyl Accountability and Prevention Act
Aside from increased penalties for high-level dealers of fentanyl, the measure will also:
- Provide opiate antagonists, naloxone, in the community
- Provide synthetic opiate detection tests
- Support for good Samaritans who report an overdose
- Develop a fentanyl prevention and education campaign
- Immunity for law enforcement or public health providers who test to ensure there are no fentanyl in drugs
- Funding for substance abuse and harm reduction
Colorado has seen more than 1,500 fentanyl-related deaths since 2015. The bill moves to consideration in the Judiciary Committee.