Texas Senate passes fentanyl overdose bill
(KTEN) — Senate Bill 645 has passed the Texas Senate with a unanimous vote. This bill would change the way charges in fentanyl overdose cases are considered, making overdose charges death by poison.
"Providing fentanyl would be an act clearly dangerous to human life, and if someone dies as a result, we can probably charge someone with felony murder," said Grayson County District Attorney Brett Smith.
Delivering less than 1 gram of fentanyl would be penalized as a third-degree felony, and if someone dies it would go up to second-degree.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency says that 2 milligrams of fentanyl can be deadly.
"This is statewide the number of fatalities that have occurred from fentanyl overdoses," said Smith. "Grayson County is not immune to that; we are seeing an increase in fentanyl overdoses."
Smith has been speaking to schools across Grayson County to reach out to students with the One Pill Kills program.
"My goal is to get every single school district, and what's amazing, these kids have amazing questions," Smith said. "They're really interested in the topic and, sadly enough, these kids know a lot. They know more than I think their parents think they know."
Senate Bill 645 now moves to the House, along with Senate Bill 1319, which would make it required for for law enforcement responding to overdose situations to report it to a digital overdose mapping system like odmap.org.
"Any legislation that comes our way that will in fact help make it easier for us to prosecute fentanyl overdose death cases, because these are not accidental deaths," Smith said.