Fentanyl suppliers in Arizona could face murder charges for overdose deaths, proposed law says

Arizona lawmakers are moving forward with a bill that is designed to help fight the opioid crisis in the state.

If passed, Senate Bill 1029 would allow first-degree murder charges to be filed against fentanyl suppliers who cause an overdose death.

This would apply to drug dealers, mutual friends, and anyone who knowingly passes along the opioid.

The bill was heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee and passed 4-3 along party lines. Four Republicans voted yes, and three Democrats voted no.

Republican State Senator Anthony Kern introduced the bill and says the harsh sentence would deter fentanyl use.

According to the Arizona Dept. of Health Services, more than 1500 people in the state died just last year alone from confirmed opioid-related overdoses.

So far this year, 13 suspected opioid-related deaths have been recorded this month.

Those against the bill include Democratic State Senator Alma Hernandez, who says it's hugely problematic, won't reduce fentanyl overdoses and further criminalizes drug addicts.

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