Rick Scott Gets Tough on Drugs

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The Governor has signed a new law into place that cracks down on fentanyl abuse.

House bill 477, sponsored by Rep. Jim Boyd, (R) Bradenton, and Sen. Greg Steube, (R) Sarasota, establishes mandatory minimum sentences for possession of certain amounts of fentanyl — a powerful synthetic opioid — and its many derivatives. The legislation establishes mandatory minimum sentences of at least three years in jail for possession of between four and 14 grams, at least 15 years for possession of between 14 and 28 grams, and at least 25 years for possession of more than 28 grams.

Criminal justice reform advocates say mandatory minimums do not offer judges enough flexibility and can result in overly harsh sentences, but supporters of the legislation argue they are needed because fentanyl is such a dangerous drug and often mixed with others.

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