Five hours in the California fentanyl crisis

 On an average day in California, about 18 people die due to overdoses from fentanyl and other synthetic opioids. That works out to nearly four people every five hours.

In that same five-hour period, legislators on Wednesday heard the sad account of a grieving mother, analyses from local officials and researchers and even one admission of teenage cannabis usage from an Assemblymember.

The marathon mega meeting on California’s fentanyl crisis — the first for a new select Assembly committee — addressed four different aspects : addiction, public health, education and law enforcement response. But Republicans, who have complained loudly that bills to increase penalties on drug dealers are going nowhere , cast doubt that the hearing put enough emphasis on accountability and public safety. Ahead of the hearing, Assembly Republicans unveiled an online fentanyl death counter . Assemblymember Juan Alanis , a Modesto Republican, in a statement: “If I could describe today’s hearing in one word it would be: ‘frustrating.’ Today’s special hearing was a lot of talk and once again short on any real action.”

Laura Didier, an […]


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