In Florida, drug dealers selling fentanyl can now face murder charges if they distribute drugs to a person who dies during an overdose.
Responding to the fentanyl and opioid epidemic, about a year and a half ago, voted a bill into law that makes fentanyl a murder weapon. Distributing the drugs is now treated the same as an assault with a deadly weapon such as a knife or gun. The state already applies similar laws to cocaine, heroin and other dangerous narcotics.
Indictments Already Underway
Since the bill became a law, Florida prosecutors have obtained grand jury indictments for first-degree murder charges against a half-dozen individuals accused of selling the drug illicitly. However, most overdoses are still considered accidental. The first trial for murder is scheduled in December 2019, but prosecutors expect that there will be dozens more cases in the next few months. Lawmakers hope that the new law …