Years of Advocacy Lead to Tighter Trafficking Laws in California.
After a protracted seven-year campaign led by Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes, the California legislature has taken decisive action against the fentanyl crisis. This long-awaited legislative response aims to stiffen penalties for fentanyl trafficking, a significant move in the battle against an opioid epidemic that has taken a grim toll on communities across the state.
Sheriff Barnes has been at the forefront of this fight, working alongside state legislators to ensure that the gravity of the fentanyl issue is met with equally serious legislative measures. With the passage of AB 701, Barnes sees a beacon of hope, yet he insists that the work is far from complete.
“Yesterday, after 7 years of inaction, they approved a similar version of our original bill. While this is progress, more action is needed,” Barnes asserted. His call to action stresses the necessity for additional policies that will bolster ongoing efforts to confront the fentanyl emergency from all angles.
In his statement, Barnes took a moment to commend the dedication of Senator Janet Nguyen and Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris, acknowledging their contributions to the bill's success. He also gave a nod to former State Senator Pat Bates for her pioneering work in authoring the first bill in 2016, which initially cast a spotlight on the emerging fentanyl peril.
The legislative achievement reflects a significant victory for Sheriff Barnes and the Orange County community, signaling a statewide commitment to combatting the fentanyl epidemic with more than just words. It is a testament to Barnes' relentless pursuit of justice and safety for the citizens he has sworn to protect.