ICYMI: Virginia Democrats once again put fentanyl dealers over victims and families this week, defeating legislation that would deter fentanyl trafficking by charging criminals whose drugs lead to a death with felony homicide.
Governor Glenn Youngkin, who has made combating fentanyl trafficking a top priority, slammed the lack of action saying that stopping the fentanyl poisoning of Virginians should be a bipartisan issue.
“Any person who knowingly and intentionally distributes fentanyl should be charged and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Youngkin told Fox News. “We cannot continue to let makers and dealers get away with murder. This should not be a Democrats versus Republicans issue. The fentanyl crisis affects us all. Holding fentanyl makers and dealers accountable is just common sense.”
This comes as five Virginians on average die every day from a fentanyl overdose. Fentanyl has impacted every community, including Virginia’s young people.
Youngkin took decisive action after several student overdoses in one school district went unreported for weeks. Youngkin immediately issued an executive order requiring notification to parents within 24 hours of student overdoses, an executive order Youngkin is pushing to codify into law.
The action this week was not the first time Virginia Democrats voted down legislation to strengthen penalties against fentanyl traffickers.
Last year, after the Republican-controlled House of Delegates passed legislation to deter fentanyl trafficking, Senate Democrats voted against the bill in committee preventing full consideration of the legislation in the Senate.
Youngkin will continue to prioritize action to deter fentanyl trafficking in Virginia, even while Democrats ignore opportunities to punish the criminals who sell this poison to Virginians.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
By Houston Keene
Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, a Republican, told Fox News Digital imposing harsher penalties on fentanyl dealers “is just common sense” after Virginia Senate Democrats voted down a bill in committee that would have done just that.
Several Virginia state Senate Democrats voted down the measure Wednesday to throw the book at fentanyl dealers as the nation sees a spike in opioid overdoses, predominantly involving fentanyl.
“Any person who knowingly and intentionally distributes fentanyl should be charged and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Youngkin declared. “We cannot continue to let makers and dealers get away with murder.
“This should not be a Democrats versus Republicans issue. The fentanyl crisis affects us all. Holding fentanyl makers and dealers accountable is just common sense.”
Youngkin and Virginia Republicans made the bill a priority. The bill would have expanded how a drug dealer could face a murder charge in a purchaser’s death.
Additionally, the committee’s sinking of the bill came a week after a new report found a record number of high school-aged teens died from drug overdoses in 2022, according to a new study published in The New England Journal of Medicine.
Using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Boston researchers found that an average of 22 adolescents, ages 14 to 18, died each week in the U.S. from drug overdoses in 2022.
The death rate for drug overdoses among teens is more than double what it was in 2018, according to the study, “The Overdose Crisis Among U.S. Adolescents.”
“Fewer teens than ever are actively using drugs, and yet more teens than ever are dying,” senior author Dr. Scott Hadland, chief of the Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine at MassGeneral Hospital for Children and Harvard Medical School, told Fox News.