COLUMBUS— On Wednesday, the Ohio House and Senate concurred on changes made to Senate Bill 1, sponsored by State Senator Frank LaRose
(R-Hudson), during conference committee.
The legislation updates Ohio’s drug abuse laws to appropriately reflect the potency of fentanyl-related substances and address its growing prevalence in overdose deaths.
“I have been working for years to get SB 1 finished, with this vote we are one step closer to ensuring those trafficking this deadly substance will face the stiffer penalties they deserve,” said LaRose. “Ohioans are dying at record rates from overdoes caused by fentanyl. SB 1 isn’t the complete answer, but it’s a necessary tool in the fight against this devastating epidemic.”
Senate Bill 1 targets individuals trafficking fentanyl related substances by increasing punishments to sellers specifically. This legislation would lower the amount of fentanyl needed to receive higher-level felony convictions that carry longer sentences. It also provides a balance by not imprisoning those suffering from drug addiction and giving them the choice to undergo treatment.
“Fentanyl is affecting people in every corner of our state, from every socioeconomic background,” said LaRose. “We need to make sure the people caught up in this deadly cycle of drug abuse are getting the help they need. That is why SB 1 offers those with small amounts of drugs on them the option for treatment instead of jail time. Drug addicts need help, and traffickers need to be in jail.”
The bill passed the Senate and the House with bipartisan support and now heads to the Governor for further consideration.