|May 5, 2017
Contact: Whitney Ray
Phone: (850) 245-0150
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Pam Bondi today thanks Florida lawmakers for passing legislation that will bolster continued efforts to combat the national opioid epidemic in Florida. Today, the Senate voted in favor of HB 477. This legislation is a top priority for Attorney General Bondi, and now, it will go before Governor Rick Scott.
“I want to thank sponsors Representative Jim Boyd and Senator Greg Steube, and each member of the House and Senate that supported this important legislation. Fentanyl is a dangerous synthetic opioid that is being mixed with heroin and other drugs—often with deadly consequences,” said Attorney General Bondi. “This legislation has been my top priority this session because it gives us the tools we need to combat the trafficking of these deadly substances.”
"Since May of 2016, I’ve worked relentless alongside the Attorney General and state Law Enforcement to aggressively eradicate these purveyors of poison who have preyed upon the weak for too long. As a member of the Florida House and constituent of the epicenter of the opioid crisis, I’ve seen community devastation first hand. It has been an honor to fight for the people of our state, and this bill sends a clear message that opioid abuse will no longer be tolerated," said Representative Boyd.
“This legislation will serve as a much-needed step forward in tackling the opioid epidemic. I applaud my colleagues in the legislature for recognizing the magnitude of this issue that has devastated far too many families across our state,” said Senator Steube.
This legislation adds fentanyl and its derivatives to Florida’s drug trafficking statute and gives law enforcement and state prosecutors the tools they need to investigate and prosecute drug traffickers selling the deadly substances. Fentanyl is a synthetic substance 50 times more potent than morphine. It is being mixed with other drugs, sold as heroin or even a pill—often resulting in the death of unsuspecting users.
The legislation also adds U-47700 to the list of Schedule 1 controlled substances. In September last year, Attorney General Bondi signed an emergency rule outlawing the synthetic drug after it was identified in multiple deaths throughout the state. This emergency action temporarily outlawed the dangerous drug and the legislation passed today will ban the deadly substance permanently.
Since taking office, Attorney General Bondi has issued executive orders and worked with state lawmakers to ban more than a hundred chemical compounds used to produce deadly synthetic drugs. Last session, Attorney General Bondi also helped pass legislation to better control synthetic drugs through a drug classification system.