Hub City’s dad asks, “Why are fentanyl test strips illegal?”

PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) – WDAM reported yesterday on a Hattiesburg business owner and father willing to break the law to distribute fentanyl test strips. But why is it illegal?

Overdose awareness advocate James Moore knows it is illegal to possess fentanyl test strips. Yet he distributes them anyway to prevent fentanyl-related overdoses like the one that killed his son.

“People are dying every week, if not more often, in our state, and I’m prepared to hand them out rather than wait for the law to change,” Moore said.

He said he wants these strips legalized because they help prevent struggling drug addicts from accidentally overdosing on a mixed drug.

“Normal fentanyl is 80 to 100 times more potent than morphine,” said Sgt. Jake Driskell with the Jones County Sheriff’s Department. “Carfentanyl is 10,000 times more potent than morphine, so it’s very deadly.”

So why are these tiny bands still illegal?

According to state senator Joey Fillingane, it stems from state law written in the 1970s.

“In the statutes, we have a pretty broad definition (of paraphernalia) that covers everything from any kind of instruments or equipment used to grow, test, analyze or package any kind of medicine,” Fillingane said.

Efforts have been made to remove test strips from the list of illegal accessories, but these efforts have all failed.

Some lawmakers have said they don’t want to pass a law perceived as promoting the drug.

“You could say that basically the only reason you would use these strips is to knowingly take illegal drugs,” Fillingane said. “So do you really want to encourage people to go out and take illegal drugs? »

Others, however, believe that legalizing test strips will not encourage new users.

“If fentanyl test strips are sanctioned, if they’re legal, will more people come out and say, ‘Now am I going to do drugs?'” asked Brett Montague, CEO of End It For. Good. “It will not happen.”

Regardless of anyone’s position on the matter, the battle against drugs continues throughout Mississippi.

Mississippi Senate Bill 22-84 was recently proposed to remove fentanyl test strips from the list of illegal paraphernalia, but died in committee in February of this year.

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