DENVER — The Colorado House of Representatives approved a bill Friday evening to address the state's growing fentanyl crisis following another hours-long debate that focused on whether possessing the substance in any amount or form should be a felony.
For now, the balance of Colorado's House members said no.
After five hours of debate, legislators, who worked into the night, approved House Bill 1326, which, in its most current version, tightens criminal penalties for distributing any amount of the drug and for dealers whose pills kill someone and makes it a felony to possess anything more than 1 gram of it in any form. It also sets aside millions to pay for medicine to reverse overdoses and test substances for fentanyl, while establishing education programs and advocating for a key treatment protocol in incarceration settings.
The bill, which still needs the full House's final vote, is a comprehensive but not final approach to addressing fentanyl, said House Speaker Alec Garnett of Denver and Rep. Mike Lynch, a Wellington Republican, who co-sponsored the legislation.
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