Consequences for Fentanyl possession could soon drastically increase
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Communities are now a step closer to gaining more protection from the deadly drug fentanyl as the house unanimously passed new legislation and now the bill is headed to the senate.
If it passes, anyone found with less than two grams in their possession would serve at least three years in prison. Anyone with eight or more grams will spend the rest of their life behind bars.
“This minimum mandatory sentencing guideline is a positive step in the right direction for the state of Alabama and our communities,” said Cullman County Sheriff Matt Gentry.
Gentry stresses this legislation is much needed and that his office is battling the problem more and more as the days go by.
“In the last eight to ten months we have seen an uptick in Fentanyl coming in across the borders, coming in to our communities and it is really taking a toll on our citizens,” he said.
Jefferson County Health Officer Mark Wilson hopes the legislation lowers the number of overdose deaths, but stresses more must be done to protect Alabamians.
“We should not be naïve in thinking that just because we have tougher sentences that it is going to solve the problem. We need to continue to focus on addiction prevention, on treatment for those suffering with addiction and other ways to save lives from overdose,” said Wilson.
Dr. Wilson also stressed that addiction resources can be found on the Jefferson County Department of Health website and the addiction helpline is open 24/7.
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