According to local news outlet FFX Now, two bills signed by Gov. Glenn Youngkin in March codified this classification. Senate Bill (SB) 1188 and House Bill (HB) 1682, introduced by Republican State Sen. Bryce Reeves and State Delegate Scott Wyatt, introduced the respective laws. Under both proposals, "any person who knowingly and intentionally manufactures … or distributes" fentanyl commits Class 4 felonies and could face up to 10 years behind bars.
"Fentanyl overdoses have increasingly become a major concern, particularly among young adults, in Fairfax County and nationwide," FFX Now noted. SB 1188 and HB 1682, both of which took effect on July 1, seek "to impose harsher penalties on the drug's manufacturing and distribution."
According to the outlet, the new laws are similar to measures in other states – but they weren't without criticism. FFX Now reported: "Critics say the law doesn't take into account context or circumstances, and increasing penalties could make people less likely to call authorities when someone they are with overdoses."
Bo Banks of Big League Politics praised the two laws as "good news" and a sign that the Old Dominion is "taking a step in the right direction." "States with GOP leadership are more capable of handling the real issues hurting Americans than Democrats are," he wrote.
"As many Americans have already become privy to, overdose deaths generally are surging in the U.S. – with fentanyl deaths specifically hitting a whopping 26 percent jump from 2020 to 2021."
Banks noted that fentanyl alone "has gotten so out of control" in his piece for Big League Politics. He added that the issue is a hot one among presidential candidates for the 2024 elections, with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis saying he will have new "rules of engagement" for Mexican drug cartels if he wins.
"Other GOP contenders are saying the same thing because fentanyl is a bigger issue than most people think," Banks continued. "It's definitely a bigger issue than how the mainstream media (MSM) is covering it."
The writer also noted that the Left has its own way of addressing the fentanyl overdose crisis – something he dubbed a "miserable failure."
"Washington state, for example, has seen nearly 3,000 overdoses in the past year alone – thanks to its pathetic approach toward decriminalizing drugs," Banks recounted. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention appeared to back up his claim, as the Evergreen State has seen drug overdoses soar by almost 22 percent over the last 12-month period ending Jan. 31.
Washington's southern neighbor Oregon has also seen "record-high overdoses" due to the decriminalization of fentanyl and other hard drugs after 2020.
The Portland Police Bureau (PPB) has warned about the spike in fentanyl incidents, urging families to stay on high alert because the drug often looks like candy. It called on users themselves to "immediately take extra steps to prevent children from accessing fentanyl or other controlled substances." (Related: The most dangerous drug in the world is NOT cocaine, heroin, or crystal meth, but rather a drug commonly prescribed by doctors who get lavish bonuses for slinging it.)
"The MSM likes to turn a blind eye to the chaos and madness, pretending nothing substantial is really happening. But Americans know the real story, especially with the rise of overdoses from cartel products," Banks remarked.
"Maybe other states like Washington will soon follow suit, especially as (the) tides turn on liberal soft-on-drug policies."
Visit Overdose.news for more stories about fentanyl deaths across the United States.
Watch this "CBS Mornings" report about fentanyl overdoses being the No. 1 cause of death for Americans aged 18 to 45.
This video is from the SecureLife channel on Brighteon.com.