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House bill proposes stricter penalties on fentanyl offenses in Missouri

On Behalf of | Mar 11, 2024 | Drug Offenses |

In January 2024, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) declared fentanyl as the deadliest drug threat nationwide. The synthetic opioid drug is the leading cause of death for Americans aged 18 to 45.

In Missouri, incidents of overdose increased by 75% since 2019. According to reports, most of the overdoses were related to fentanyl.

The dangers of fentanyl

The Food and Drug Administration approves fentanyl as an analgesic and anesthetic. DEA, however, notes that its potency poses problems. The synthetic opioid drug is 50 times stronger than heroin as an analgesic and almost 100 times stronger than morphine. DEA considers just two milligrams of fentanyl as a potentially fatal dosage.

Provisions on possession and trafficking

At present, Missouri law states that those who knowingly buy or try to buy fentanyl will merit a second-degree Class B felony charge. The same applies to those who possess or control the drug.

Those who knowingly produce, deliver or distribute over 10 milligrams of fentanyl will get a first-degree Class B felony charge. Meanwhile, those involved with over 20 milligrams will obtain a Class A felony charge.

Efforts to curb fentanyl overdose

A recent House bill seeks to reduce overdoses due to fentanyl by imposing harsher penalties. It mainly deals with decreasing the required drug weight to merit a felony offense.

For Class B felony, the proposal brings down the weight to between 3 to 14 milligrams. Additionally, the bill seeks to reduce the weight for a first-degree charge to above 14 milligrams.

Dealing with fentanyl possession or trafficking

DEA reported that it seized the most fentanyl in 2023. It confiscated almost 12,000 pounds of fentanyl powder and over 77 million fentanyl pills throughout the country.

As the crackdown on fentanyl continues, it’s expected that there will be a surge in the offenses connected to the dangerous drug. If you are dealing with an investigation on fentanyl possession or trafficking, you have a right to an attorney so that you may face the case and clarify the accusations.