KJZZ is a service of Rio Salado College, and Maricopa Community Colleges
Privacy Policy | FCC Public File | Contest Rules
Copyright © 2024 KJZZ/Rio Salado College/MCCCD
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Arizona Senate approves 'one pill bill' to decrease criminal threshold for fentanyl

On a party-line vote, state senators have advanced SB 1614 that would reduce the amount of fentanyl needed for criminal prosecution from 9 grams to one pill.

Republican state Sen. Justine Wadsack, who sponsored the bill, says the law’s tolerance level is too high given how little it takes for fentanyl to be lethal. 

“It’s criminal to do these drugs and when they have the drugs they’re passing it on to other people. One pill kills, so we need a one pill bill," Wadsack said.

But opponents, including the ACLU of Arizona, say this bill will only harm the community by putting more people in jail and wasting taxpayer dollars.

Kara Williams, who says she suffers from addiction, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“I spent five years in prison for substance abuse. It did nothing for me. There is no treatment in prison. This bill is going to do nothing but send the addicts to prison. It’s not going to send the dealers, it’s going to send the addicts," Williams said. 

The DEA has a  One Pill Can Kill campaign highlighting the dangers of fentanyl. The agency says seven out of every 10 pills seized have a lethal dose. 

More stories from KJZZ

Jill Ryan joined KJZZ in 2020 as a morning reporter, and she is currently a field correspondent and Morning Edition producer.