Florida Governor Rick Scott plans to stop in Palm Beach County to ceremonially sign a bill that holds drug dealers more accountable for their role in the opioid epidemic plaguing the state.
Under the new law, which was officially signed in June, the penalty for drug dealers caught selling synthetic drugs like fentanyl, imposes a minimum three-year sentence.
The dealers could face up to murder charges if their clients overdose and die as a result of using the drug.
The Florida Governor declared a statewide public health emergency last May in order to gain millions in federal grant funding for the efforts against opioid misuse. In June, he extended the state of emergency.
“This legislation provides tools for law enforcement and first responders to save lives,” he said.
South Florida drug dealers are becoming brazenly reckless by adding the synthetic opioid fentanyl to heroin and other drugs, sometimes even pressing it into fake pharmaceutical pills.
Addicts are buying the drugs without knowing what they contain. Under the new law, drug dealers would be held accountable for the overdose deaths of their customers.
Florida opioid treatment centers attract an overwhelming number of out of state addicts looking to receive treatment in the sunshine state. Current reports claim that at least 75% of individuals enrolled in Florida treatment centers are from other states.
After the ceremonial signing in West Palm Beach at the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, Gov. Scott is expected to attend the All-star game at Marlins Park in Miami