Proposed legislation to update Louisiana law would put the most severe penalties in the U.S. for fentanyl distribution on the books and seek life-in-prison convictions equivalent to violent felonies
Baton Rouge, LA – Today, State Representative John Stefanski (R-Crowley) filed legislation providing severe penalties for the distribution of fentanyl.
“The fentanyl crisis Louisiana is fighting knows no zip code, it knows no social class, gender or age. This toxic poison is stealing the lives of thousands of innocent Louisianans. It’s time that the consequences for creating and distributing fentanyl matches the violent damage it causes,” explained Representative Stefanski.
Fentanyl is now the leading cause of death for Americans aged 18 to 45, with the number killed by the drug up 94% since 2019. Of the record 107,000 fatal drug overdoses in 2021, two-thirds involved fentanyl. Today, an average of one person in the U.S. now dies from a fentanyl overdose every seven minutes.
“With this legislation – we are sending a message loud and clear to drug traffickers that the state of Louisiana will have a zero-tolerance policy concerning fentanyl. The penalty for possession or distribution of fentanyl 28 grams or more will now be equivalent to that of a violent crime like homicide: life in prison,” Stefanski stated.
A copy of the bill can be found here.
“In addition to defending Louisiana families and securing our communities – my hope is that our state can be a leader for the rest of the nation in advocating for policies like this that will seek to end the fentanyl crisis,” the Representative concluded.