Starting today, a highly effective but extremely addictive pain reliever that goes by the name Fentanyl would hardly be available in Texas as Governor Gregg Abbott signed a bill against its manufacture, distribution and sale.
Considered as an extremely dangerous opioid fentanyl, Governor Abbott expressed optimism that the state would finally be able to put an end to the flourishing but illegal trade of a narcotic deemed as “addictive.”
Previously, government law enforcement drug-related agencies reported confiscating 95 pounds of the restricted drug in the first quarter of the current year. The yield is roughly nine times more than the volume of fentanyl seized by government operatives for the same period of last year.
Signed by the Governor, in the presence of Senator Joan Huffman and Crime Stoppers of Houston Deputy Director Nichole Christoph, the new measure effectively increases the penalties for making and distributing fentanyl.
The newly-enacted law provides stiffer jail terms for offenders — minimum of 15 years in jail for the manufacture or delivery of fentanyl weighing 200 to 400 grams. Beyond 400 grams, the new law puts a minimum jail time of 20 years.
In a press statement, Governor Abbott, a Republican, also made a special mention of State Representative Ann Johnson, a Democrat, for authoring the bill.
Interestingly, Abbott was not present during the symbolic signing of her bill. She is in Washington D.C., along with 57 other Democrats who left Texas in protest to the GOP initiated election overhaul bills.
Upon hearing the news of Governor Abbott making a special mention of her name over the bill she authored, Johnson has this to say: “I’m glad that the governor is thinking about me, but I would ask that he refocus his efforts on the power grid, healthcare access being expanded, especially in this moment of an increased variant – the Delta variant of COVID, and let’s talk about the rising epidemic in gun violence.”