Opioid Harm Reduction
Under current law, the knowing possession of any material, compound, mixture, or preparation that weighs more than one gram and not more than 4 grams and contains any quantity of fentanyl, carfentanil, benzimidazole opiate, or an analog thereof, is a level 4 drug felony; except that, if a defendant shows supporting evidence to establish that the defendant made a reasonable mistake of fact and did not know that the controlled substance contained fentanyl, carfentanil, benzimidazole opiate, or an analog thereof, the matter must be submitted to the finder of fact in the form of interrogatory included in the verdict form. If the finder of fact determines the defendant made a reasonable mistake of fact, the defendant commits a level 1 drug misdemeanor. The bill eliminates this provision. Under current law, the knowing possession of any material, compound, mixture, or preparation that weighs not more than one gram and contains any quantity of fentanyl, carfentanil, benzimidazole opiate, or an analog thereof, is a level 1 drug misdemeanor; except that a fourth or subsequent offense is a level 4 drug felony. The bill eliminates the requirement that the possession must be knowing.
The bill creates the opioid antagonist fund in the department of education to bulk purchase and distribute opioid antagonists to eligible schools. For the 2023-24 state fiscal year, the general assembly appropriates $2 million to the fund from the general fund.
The bill extends civil and criminal immunity to the department of education, or a person acting on behalf of the department, for acting in good faith to furnish an opioid antagonist to an eligible school.
The bill requires every agency that employs a peace officer to submit an annual report to the department of public health and environment (department) concerning every incident in which a peace officer administered an opioid antagonist to an individual. Using that information the department creates a consolidated report and provides it to the house of representatives judiciary and public and behavioral health and human services committees and the senate judiciary and health and human services committees.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)