Lawmakers Work To Merge Anti-Drug Plans

Des Moines, Iowa — A few legislators are working to merge proposals from Iowa’s governor and attorney general to boost sentences for fentanyl-related crimes and make an overdose reversal medication more widely available.

Dale Woolery, director of the Governor’s Office on Drug Control Policy, says officials estimate about nine out of 10 opioid overdoses in Iowa in 2021 were due to fentanyl.

Molly Severn, an aide to the governor, says Iowa’s crime lab processed 96,000 pills containing fentanyl last year.

Attorney General Brenna Bird has proposed a bill that would boost sentences for selling or providing any illegal drug that causes a death.

The legislation Governor Reynolds is proposing is targeted to fentanyl. A House subcommittee advanced a bill that contains the governor’s plans on February 15th, after a public hearing.

Talia Sopp, a University of Iowa medical student, told lawmakers she previously worked at an addiction treatment center for teenagers and has helped distribute Naloxone.

Sopp says drug kingpins know drugs are laced with fentanyl, but low level distributors and users don’t know the illegal drugs they’re handling are contaminated with fentanyl.

Sopp is urging legislators to table the idea of enhanced penalties for fentanyl related crimes.



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