New fentanyl law in Ala. received broad support

Published: Apr. 10, 2023 at 9:27 PM CDT
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - Governor Kay Ivey’s signature on the state’s new fentanyl law is barely dry and it’s already getting high praise from those who say it was long overdue.

The new law mandates minimum sentences against traffickers.

The head of the Office of Prosecution Services says this was a good move. That office serves as an outreach to all 42 district attorney’s across the state providing them with programs such as continuing education.

Barry Matson, the Executive Director for the Office of Prosecution Services in Montgomery, used a Splenda packet to make a point about fentanyl.

“An ounce, which is a Splenda packet, would kill a room full of dozens and dozens of people and so it’s highly dangerous,” said Matson.

Highly dangerous and all the more reason why Maston and more than 40 district attorneys across the state applaud the new fentanyl law. The law now requires a mandatory minimum sentence of three years for possession of one to two grams of fentanyl, ten years for possession between two and four grams, 25 years for possession of four to eight grams and life in prison for possession of more than eight grams.

“It only deals with the trafficker. If the possessor or the addict uses this much, they’re not going to live very long,” said Matson.

Asked if the bill is tough enough: “I think it is. We didn’t have anything before, prior to this, it was a class A felony and it was ten to life,” Matson said.

Only time will tell if the new law will make a difference as statistics show fentanyl deaths are adding up in Alabama.

The new law takes effect June 1. The bill passed through the Alabama legislature with no opposition.

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