- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 3, 2019

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - The leading Republican in Connecticut’s House of Representatives hopes lawmakers will pass legislation that treats offenses involving fentanyl like other drug crimes.

House Minority Leader Themis Klarides (THEHM’-his KLEHR’-ih-dehs) of Derby said Wednesday’s “it’s a shame” similar bills in past years have cleared the General Assembly’s Judiciary Committee, only to die later on in the legislative process, often due to inaction in the Senate.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency says is 80-to-100 times stronger than morphine.

Connecticut’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner reports that 760 people in the state died from fentanyl overdoses last year. That’s a 12% increase from 2017 and four times higher than in 2015.

The bill amends the definition of “narcotic substance” to include fentanyl and fentanyl derivatives.

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