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06/25/2024 01:26 AM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20230&cosponId=38834
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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: December 19, 2022 04:16 PM
From: Representative Doyle Heffley
To: All House members
Subject: Increased Criminal Penalties Associated with the Unlawful Delivery of Fentanyl
 

I am reintroducing former HB 2820 in the 2023-2024 regular legislative session.

As you are undoubtedly aware, overdose deaths have skyrocketed in recent years.  In 2021 there were a reported 5,343 overdose deaths in this Commonwealth – a 3% increase from the prior year 2020. Of those 5343 deaths in 2021, 78% of those involved Fentanyl. This increase in fatalities, which shows no signs of abating, can be largely attributed to the rise of the illegal sale and usage of fentanyl, an opiate-based drug that is 50 to 100 times more potent than heroin.  Indeed, the consumption of a mere two milligrams of the powerful drug can prove fatal to a person.  Significantly, fentanyl is not only deadly to those who knowingly ingest it as evidenced by the fact that many of our first responders have suffered overdoses after inadvertently being exposed to the drug. 
 
With full knowledge of the very real and demonstrable risks posed by the drug, many drug dealers will nevertheless mix fentanyl with other street drugs, including cocaine, heroin, crystal meth, Oxycodone, and Xanax in order to increase potency, thereby promoting addiction and the demand for the drug.  Alarmingly, drug users will often be ignorant of the fact that the drug they are about to ingest contains a lethal dosage of fentanyl. 
 
I intend to introduce legislation that will create stiffer criminal penalties for any defendant who knowingly or intentionally manufactures or sells fentanyl or fentanyl-laced drugs. Specifically, my bill provides that any individual convicted of manufacturing or selling fentanyl shall be subject to a sentence of imprisonment of up to 20 years and a fine of up to $500,000.  Under current law, individuals convicted of selling or manufacturing fentanyl are subject to a possible sentence of 15 years’ incarceration and a fine of up to $250,000.    
 
Thousands of individuals, including children, have tragically lost their lives to this formidable and indiscriminate drug.  This drug poses a significant risk to our communities, and I believe that this legislation is necessary to not only combat the sale and production of fentanyl on our streets, but to also save the lives of those individuals suffering in the throes of addiction. 

I hope you will join me in cosponsoring this important legislation to better protect our Commonwealth residents.
 



Introduced as HB384