State Reps. Ann Bollin, Sarah Lightner and Angela Witwer this week introduced a bipartisan plan to help combat the opioid crisis by cracking down on heroin and fentanyl dealers in Michigan.
House Bills 5124-26 would revise sentencing requirements for various narcotic drug crimes. The package includes a reclassification that would allow stricter sentencing recommendations for producing or distributing dangerous drugs like heroin and fentanyl, which have contributed to an increasing number of overdose deaths in recent years.
“The opioid crisis is a heart-wrenching tragedy that demands our attention,” said Bollin, R-Brighton Township. “We must come together to protect our communities from heroin and fentanyl and combat the dealers who profit from the despair of others.”
A felony’s classification level factors into the sentencing decision after a criminal is convicted. The legislation would increase the felony class for crimes related to delivering or manufacturing heroin, fentanyl, or carfentanil. A higher classification would increase the likelihood of tougher prison sentences for illegal drug producers and dealers.
Bollin represents the 49th House District, covering portions of Oakland and Livingston counties.
In 2021, Oakland County recorded 215 opioid overdose deaths. Livingston County recorded 35 that same year. Oakland County officials also noted that 180 of the overdose deaths it recorded in 2021 involved synthetic opioids like fentanyl – a 119.5% increase compared to synthetic opioid-involved deaths in 2020.
House Bills 5124-5126 were referred to the House Criminal Justice Committee for consideration.
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