Lawmakers Weigh Harsher Penalties for Opioid Users

 ========= Old Image Removed =========Array
(
    [_wp_attached_file] => Array
        (
            [0] => 2018/02/Fentanyl_patch_packages.jpg
        )

    [_wp_attachment_metadata] => Array
        (
            [0] => a:5:{s:5:"width";i:1920;s:6:"height";i:1280;s:4:"file";s:35:"2018/02/Fentanyl_patch_packages.jpg";s:5:"sizes";a:13:{s:6:"medium";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:35:"Fentanyl_patch_packages-336x224.jpg";s:5:"width";i:336;s:6:"height";i:224;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:5:"large";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:35:"Fentanyl_patch_packages-771x514.jpg";s:5:"width";i:771;s:6:"height";i:514;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:9:"thumbnail";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:35:"Fentanyl_patch_packages-140x140.jpg";s:5:"width";i:140;s:6:"height";i:140;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:12:"medium_large";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:35:"Fentanyl_patch_packages-768x512.jpg";s:5:"width";i:768;s:6:"height";i:512;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:9:"1536x1536";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:37:"Fentanyl_patch_packages-1536x1024.jpg";s:5:"width";i:1536;s:6:"height";i:1024;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:9:"wbhm-icon";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:33:"Fentanyl_patch_packages-80x80.jpg";s:5:"width";i:80;s:6:"height";i:80;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:13:"wbhm-featured";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:35:"Fentanyl_patch_packages-600x338.jpg";s:5:"width";i:600;s:6:"height";i:338;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:20:"wbhm-featured-square";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:35:"Fentanyl_patch_packages-600x600.jpg";s:5:"width";i:600;s:6:"height";i:600;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:18:"wbhm-featured-home";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:35:"Fentanyl_patch_packages-467x311.jpg";s:5:"width";i:467;s:6:"height";i:311;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:22:"wbhm-featured-carousel";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:35:"Fentanyl_patch_packages-398x265.jpg";s:5:"width";i:398;s:6:"height";i:265;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:28:"ab-block-post-grid-landscape";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:35:"Fentanyl_patch_packages-600x400.jpg";s:5:"width";i:600;s:6:"height";i:400;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:25:"ab-block-post-grid-square";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:35:"Fentanyl_patch_packages-600x600.jpg";s:5:"width";i:600;s:6:"height";i:600;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:14:"post-thumbnail";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:35:"Fentanyl_patch_packages-125x125.jpg";s:5:"width";i:125;s:6:"height";i:125;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}}s:10:"image_meta";a:12:{s:8:"aperture";s:1:"0";s:6:"credit";s:0:"";s:6:"camera";s:0:"";s:7:"caption";s:0:"";s:17:"created_timestamp";s:1:"0";s:9:"copyright";s:0:"";s:12:"focal_length";s:1:"0";s:3:"iso";s:1:"0";s:13:"shutter_speed";s:1:"0";s:5:"title";s:0:"";s:11:"orientation";s:1:"0";s:8:"keywords";a:0:{}}}
        )

    [_imagify_optimization_level] => Array
        (
            [0] => 0
        )

    [_imagify_data] => Array
        (
            [0] => a:2:{s:5:"sizes";a:10:{s:4:"full";a:5:{s:7:"success";b:1;s:8:"file_url";s:63:"https://news.wbhm.org/media/2018/02/Fentanyl_patch_packages.jpg";s:13:"original_size";i:5660919;s:14:"optimized_size";i:345654;s:7:"percent";d:93.890000000000001;}s:9:"thumbnail";a:5:{s:7:"success";b:1;s:8:"file_url";s:71:"https://news.wbhm.org/media/2018/02/Fentanyl_patch_packages-140x140.jpg";s:13:"original_size";i:8984;s:14:"optimized_size";i:8368;s:7:"percent";d:6.8600000000000003;}s:6:"medium";a:5:{s:7:"success";b:1;s:8:"file_url";s:71:"https://news.wbhm.org/media/2018/02/Fentanyl_patch_packages-336x224.jpg";s:13:"original_size";i:26296;s:14:"optimized_size";i:24585;s:7:"percent";d:6.5099999999999998;}s:5:"large";a:5:{s:7:"success";b:1;s:8:"file_url";s:71:"https://news.wbhm.org/media/2018/02/Fentanyl_patch_packages-771x514.jpg";s:13:"original_size";i:92582;s:14:"optimized_size";i:87388;s:7:"percent";d:5.6100000000000003;}s:9:"wbhm-icon";a:5:{s:7:"success";b:1;s:8:"file_url";s:69:"https://news.wbhm.org/media/2018/02/Fentanyl_patch_packages-80x80.jpg";s:13:"original_size";i:3848;s:14:"optimized_size";i:3520;s:7:"percent";d:8.5199999999999996;}s:13:"wbhm-featured";a:5:{s:7:"success";b:1;s:8:"file_url";s:71:"https://news.wbhm.org/media/2018/02/Fentanyl_patch_packages-600x338.jpg";s:13:"original_size";i:56439;s:14:"optimized_size";i:53143;s:7:"percent";d:5.8399999999999999;}s:20:"wbhm-featured-square";a:5:{s:7:"success";b:1;s:8:"file_url";s:71:"https://news.wbhm.org/media/2018/02/Fentanyl_patch_packages-300x300.jpg";s:13:"original_size";i:28804;s:14:"optimized_size";i:27067;s:7:"percent";d:6.0300000000000002;}s:18:"wbhm-featured-home";a:5:{s:7:"success";b:1;s:8:"file_url";s:71:"https://news.wbhm.org/media/2018/02/Fentanyl_patch_packages-467x311.jpg";s:13:"original_size";i:44095;s:14:"optimized_size";i:41397;s:7:"percent";d:6.1200000000000001;}s:22:"wbhm-featured-carousel";a:5:{s:7:"success";b:1;s:8:"file_url";s:71:"https://news.wbhm.org/media/2018/02/Fentanyl_patch_packages-398x265.jpg";s:13:"original_size";i:34396;s:14:"optimized_size";i:32262;s:7:"percent";d:6.2000000000000002;}s:14:"post-thumbnail";a:5:{s:7:"success";b:1;s:8:"file_url";s:71:"https://news.wbhm.org/media/2018/02/Fentanyl_patch_packages-125x125.jpg";s:13:"original_size";i:7489;s:14:"optimized_size";i:6964;s:7:"percent";d:7.0099999999999998;}}s:5:"stats";a:3:{s:13:"original_size";i:5963852;s:14:"optimized_size";i:630348;s:7:"percent";d:89.430000000000007;}}
        )

    [_imagify_status] => Array
        (
            [0] => success
        )

    [_media_credit] => Array
        (
            [0] => 
        )

    [_navis_media_credit_org] => Array
        (
            [0] => Wikipedia Commons
        )

    [_navis_media_can_distribute] => Array
        (
            [0] => 
        )

)
1561714765 
1518177094

The number of fatal drug overdoses is rising across the U.S. Alabama lawmakers this week considered a bill that would impose stiffer penalties around the deadly opioid fentanyl. Meanwhile, critics say more punishment could strain the state’s overcrowded prisons.

The measure, which the Senate approved last week, came before a House committee this week. The bill would increase penalties for people who use and distribute fentanyl, a powerful opioid that is found in a lot of street drugs. And health officials believe fentanyl is behind the recent spike in overdose deaths across the U.S.

In the last two years, 25 states have passed legislation to increase various fentanyl-related penalties, according to the Drug Policy Alliance.

Sen. Cam Ward, the bill’s sponsor, told the Associated Press an influx of fentanyl in the state has been lethal. “It’s being mixed with heroin and it’s driving up your overdose deaths dramatically,” Ward said. “A very small amount, a grain of salt size, mixed in with heroin is deadly. It will kill you.”

Ward said state penalties for fentanyl possession are low. The bill would stiffen penalties to bring them in line with those for heroin.

A person caught with one-half of a gram to one gram of fentanyl would face a possession with intent to distribute charge, a Class B felony punishable from two to 20 years in prison. Those trafficking larger amounts of fentanyl would face mandatory minimum sentences.

Critics of the bill, including the ACLU of Alabama, say tougher penalties will tax the state’s overcrowded prisons.

 

 

But first, we start this week’s legislative wrap-up with Don Dailey, host of Alabama Public Television’s Capitol Journal, with a measure that would outlaw video voyeurism. The measure, sponsored by Sen. Clyde Chambliss, targets people who take photos of others surreptitiously.

Also, we get a glimpse of the state’s proposed education budget, and a preview of a bill that aims to make payday lending a bit easier on borrowers.

 

“Expect us,” reproductive rights supporters rally across Alabama after federal abortion ruling

Alabamians took to the streets this weekend after elective abortions became a felony in the state on Friday.

What to know about Alabama abortion rights after SCOTUS overturns Roe v. Wade

The U.S. Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, ending the constitutional right to an abortion. Here’s what the decision means for the Gulf South region.

Alabama OKs $725M bond sale to build 2 supersize prisons

That money will be added to $135 million in state funds and $400 million in pandemic relief dollars that the state already agreed to put toward the project.

Britt wins tumultuous Alabama Senate race scrambled by Trump

Katie Britt won the Republican nomination for Senate in Alabama Tuesday, defeating six-term Rep. Mo Brooks in a primary runoff after former President Donald Trump took the unusual step of rescinding his initial Brooks endorsement.

2022 Alabama primary runoff results

Republicans will be choosing between Katie Britt and Roy Moore as their nominee for U.S. Senate. Democrats will pick a nominee for governor between Yolonda Flowers and Malika Sanders-Fortier.

More Front Page Coverage