Rep. Mazzochi Files Bill to Crack Down on Products that Hide Fentanyl and Targets Kids

Springfield, IL… In light of reports of “rainbow” fentanyl and increased deaths from deceptive products, State Representative Deanne Mazzochi (R-Elmhurst) introduced legislation to combat the ubiquitous spread of the deadliest drug threat facing the country.  House Bill 5808 would create an additional crime of fentanyl trafficking and target the use of candy, regular prescription drugs, and other vehicles for fentanyl distribution.

“Fentanyl and its analogs are fifty times more powerful than heroin, and a mere two milligram amount can be lethal,” said Rep. Mazzochi. “Traffickers are mixing or packaging fentanyl to look like candy, gummies, or different prescription medications to skirt the law and target innocent users.  HB 5808 delineates that and gives prosecutors stronger tools that they need to combat a leading source of drug deaths in our county and state.”

According to the Drug Enforcement Agency, 42% of these types of counterfeit pills they tested for fentanyl contained at least two milligrams of fentanyl, equal to just 10 to 15 grains of table salt. The Centers for Disease Control reported that synthetic opioids are the primary driver of overdose deaths in the United States; in 2021 overdoses involving fentanyl and other synthetic opioids surpassed 71,000, up 23% from the year before. 

Mazzochi contrasted her approach to the House Democrat legislation, House Bill 3447, to further decriminalize possessing or distributing lethal fentanyl levels:  “Our suburban legislators know full well that kids are inadvertently dying from fentanyl overdoses, precisely because of deceptive tactics by distributors.  We shouldn’t be making it easier for drug dealers to avoid prosecution, so they can save some money on production, distribution, or using sleight of hand to get users an opioid fix.  This drug wreaks havoc in Illinois communities and destroys lives.  We should be sending a message to the people who deal it, not letting them off the hook.”