OKLAHOMA CITY - Senator Darrell Weaver's proposed legislation, Senate Bill 1280, aimed at addressing the alarming rise in fentanyl-related incidents, took a significant stride forward yesterday as it passed unanimously from the Senate Public Safety Committee.
The bill targets the manufacturing of fentanyl when it's added to other drugs, imposing stringent penalties to deter such dangerous practices.
Senator Weaver, R-Moore, said there is an urgent need for action in the face of the ongoing, and emerging fentanyl crisis.
"Fentanyl is a deadly scourge that is wreaking havoc on families and communities across our state and nation," Senator Weaver said. "This bill sends a clear message that those who contribute to the proliferation of this deadly substance will face significant penalties. Fentanyl-related overdose deaths in Oklahoma have risen from 39 in 2018 to 619 in 2022. I want this legislation to have a chilling effect on criminals trying to poison Oklahomans, while also saving lives.”
Under Senate Bill 1280, individuals convicted of manufacturing fentanyl by adding it to other drugs would face severe consequences, including a prison sentence ranging from seven years to life imprisonment. This proactive measure seeks to address the root cause of fentanyl distribution and combat its spread within communities.
The unanimous support garnered by Senate Bill 1280 in the Senate Public Safety Committee underscores the bipartisan recognition of the urgency to address the fentanyl crisis.
Fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid, has surged in popularity among drug traffickers due to its high potency and low cost to produce. However, its spread has resulted in a devastating toll on communities across the nation.
According to recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), fentanyl was involved in over 75% of opioid-related overdose deaths in 2022, marking a concerning escalation in fatalities linked to this lethal substance.
Senator Weaver is the former director of the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and spent nearly 30 years with the agency.
To read Senate Bill 1280, click here.
For more information, contact:
Sen. Darrell Weaver at 405-521-5569 or email Darrell.Weaver@oksenate.gov.