Fentanyl, a highly lethal synthetic opioid that became widely popular in the United States after the implementation of open border policies by the Biden administration, became a big concern that prompted calls to crack down on fentanyl trafficking, the Daily Caller reported.
The Fentanyl Kills Act would enable federal prosecutors to charge drug traffickers who “produce, manufacture, distribute, sell or knowingly finance or transport” fentanyl with attempted murder charges.
“Any individual who has [been] found to [have] trafficked fentanyl shall be deemed to have attempted to perpetrate murder,” the bill reads. Among the co-sponsors of the bill are Reps. David Valadao, R-Calif., and Jim Baird, R-Ind.
The bill expansively defined “trafficked fentanyl,” including any efforts to manufacture fentanyl outside the country, to then transport it later to the United States. The bill also expanded the penalty of attempted murder charges to the manufacturing of precursor chemicals that are used to produce fentanyl, the news source reported.
“The fentanyl crisis that is gripping our country and local communities is a serious problem and requires serious consequences for those who peddle this dangerous drug,” Lawler said.
“The Fentanyl Kills Act takes drug traffickers head-on, imposing serious penalties for these criminals who know exactly what they are doing.”
Fentanyl is the most lethal drug in the country that is responsible for approximately two-thirds of all 107,081 overdose deaths in 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.
The Drug Enforcement Administration said that the drug is “100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin,” adding that a fatal dose of fentanyl may be as little as 2 milligrams.
To increase their potency and fuel drug addictions by customers, dealers who sell other drugs often mix fentanyl with their products, the Caller reported.
To pass the Senate, Lawler’s bill would require votes from Democrats that it may never get because they usually oppose strengthening criminal penalties on drug traffickers, arguing that such measures will disproportionately hurt racial minorities.