This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

DENVER (KDVR) — As fentanyl deaths are on the rise, a bill is being heard in the legislature Monday that would hold drug dealers accountable if someone dies of an overdose using their product.

SB23-109 is called the Criminal Penalty Controlled Substance Supplier bill, and it would enact a penalty on the supplier when a person dies as a result of the use of a controlled substance.

Drug dealers could be charged with a level one drug felony.

This comes as children under 14 are dying of fentanyl poisoning at a rate faster than any other age group, according to a new report from Families Against Fentanyl. They are a nonprofit spreading awareness about the deadly opioid.

In just two years, synthetic opioid (fentanyl) deaths among children ages 1 to 4 more than tripled, according to FAF. In many cases, the drug is ingested without the person’s knowledge, and FAF said nearly all U.S. fentanyl deaths are unintentional poisonings.

People are taking pills not knowing the pills are counterfeit and heavily laced with fentanyl. People making the illegal version of the synthetic drug can make it look like anything, including candy.

Two milligrams of fentanyl, which is the size of a mosquito, is enough to kill an adult. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said more than 100,000 people died of a drug overdose in 2021, and more than 65,000 of those deaths were linked to fentanyl.

Denver Police have stepped up their enforcement of it as well and created a Fentanyl Investigations Team. In 2020, Denver Police made 286 fentanyl arrests. In 2022, they made 1,724 arrests.

Those against this bill, including ACLU Colorado, said, “Drug-induced homicide laws are cruel and ineffective. They won’t stop drug use and won’t save lives. It’s time we reject them — and focus instead on real, evidence-based solutions to the overdose crisis.”

SB23-109 will be heard in the senate judiciary committee Monday afternoon.