Bill Would Create Tough New Penalties for People Caught With Synthetic Opioids

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Two senators on the Judiciary Committee are preparing a bill that would create tough new penalties for people caught with synthetic opioids, NPR reports.

Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, who have supported reducing some drug sentences, are preparing the new bill. Grassley is the Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Feinstein is the committee’s ranking member.

The bill would give the attorney general more power to ban many types of synthetic drugs, and would impose a 10-year maximum sentence on people caught selling these drugs as a first offense. If they are caught a second time, the maximum sentence would double.

Last month, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced he is directing federal prosecutors to pursue the most severe penalties possible for drug crimes.

Fentanyl and Synthetic Opioids: 5 Things You Need to Know

Deaths from fentanyl and other synthetic opioids (not including methadone), rose a staggering 72 percent in just one year, from 2014 to 2015. Government agencies and officials of all types are rightly concerned by what some are describing as the third wave of our ongoing opioid epidemic.

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