POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

Utah senator backs bill to legalize tests that detect fentanyl

Jan 3, 2023, 7:02 AM | Updated: 8:49 am
Fentanyl laced bags...
Bags of heroin, some laced with fentanyl, are displayed after a drug bust. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY —  A Utah state senator is introducing a bill to legalize the test strips used to check for fentanyl. However, the test strips are considered drug paraphernalia under Utah law.

But Dr. Jennifer Plumb, a new state senator, argues people need to know the danger. Plumb said opponents argue the bill sends a message its ok to use drugs. 

“I always just reframe it as, ‘No, its ok for you to stay alive.'”

According to Plumb, the synthetic opioid is often found in drugs sold illegally as something else. 

Drugs sold on the street often contain fentanyl, whether they buyer thinks that’s what they’re getting or not. That’s why Plumb, is sponsoring a bill to legalize the test strips used to detect fentanyl.

The state legislator is backing a bill to make it easier to test those drugs and potentially save lives. Plumb was a leader in the effort to make the anti-overdose drug Narcan legal and available in Utah.

Plumb said the idea gained support from law enforcement and drug treatment communities. The bill will be introduced in the upcoming legislative session.

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Utah senator backs bill to legalize tests that detect fentanyl