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Senator Alvarado-Gil Pushes For Stricter Fentanyl Penalties

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Sonora, CA — A “Fight Against Fentanyl” press conference was held Wednesday to encourage California lawmakers to close loopholes related to prosecution of fentanyl offenses.

Speakers included Mother Lode Democratic Senator Marie Alvarado-Gil and Stockton Democratic Assemblyman Carlos Villapudua.

They noted that preliminary data from the California Department of Public Health shows that fentanyl was responsible for 90 percent of opioid overdose deaths and 62-percent of drug-related overdose deaths in 2023. Fentanyl is 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. Despite this, they stated that current law provides more leniency on fentanyl enforcement compared to other hard drugs like heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine. An initial bill they are pushing is AB 2336, which would add fentanyl to the list of hard drugs for which it is a felony to be in possession of alongside a firearm.

Senator Alvarado-Gil says, “This poison requires only the equivalent of two grains of salt to claim a life. It is an insidious threat that demands swift action. Combining it with firearms is a recipe for even more catastrophic consequences. It is time to send a clear message: anyone caught in possession of fentanyl and a firearm will face severe consequences.”

AB 2236 is anticipated to receive a hearing in the Assembly Committee on Public Safety in the spring.