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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: March 28, 2019 04:12 PM
From: Representative Harry Readshaw
To: All House members
Subject: Mandatory Minimum for Opioids and Highly Addictive Narcotics
Over the past few years, many individuals and groups from both sides of the aisle have come together to tackle the opioid epidemic in Pennsylvania, and I am grateful for the progress we have made. However, there are still far too many of our neighbors, friends, children and other family members who find themselves caught in the web of addiction and, sadly, far too many are still losing their battles. In 2018, nearly 4,300 Pennsylvanians died from drug overdoses. A friend and constituent of mine is tragically among the parents grieving for the loss of their children to overdoses, and he reached out to me to ask what more could be done in the wake of the loss of his son Matthew.

I believe that reducing the supply of these dangerous drugs that is being sold in the streets of our cities and neighborhoods will help us win the fight against the opioid epidemic. That is why I am introducing legislation to impose a five-year mandatory minimum for illegally manufacturing or distributing Schedule I or II narcotic substances, which include such dangerous drugs as heroin, fentanyl, cocaine and prescription opioids. Each dealer we can remove from the streets is one less dealer who can take advantage of Pennsylvanians struggling with addiction – including those seeking help to get clean. Further, it is my hope that the lengthy sentences and rehabilitative programs that dealers will find in our state prisons will discourage future crime.

Please join me in giving our Commonwealth one more legal tool in the battle against the opioid epidemic.

This legislation was most recently introduced as HB 1807 of the 2017-2018 Legislative Session, and the co-sponsors were THOMAS, MILLARD, BAKER, McNEILL, TALLMAN, PASHINSKI, JOZWIAK, DeLUCA, D. COSTA, KORTZ and PHILLIPS-HILL.

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