HELENA — A bill introduced to the House Judiciary Committee Tuesday would raise the penalties for fentanyl distribution in Montana to anywhere from two to 40 years in prison, and a $50,000 fine or both.
Rep. Courtenay Sprunger, R-Kalispell, is the sponsor of the House Bill 791 and said it is designed to punish those distributing fentanyl across the state, not those struggling with substance abuse issues.
“I think it’s pretty safe to say that we have an issue and it’s not just affecting those who choose to use fentanyl. The magnitude of this drug hit me last spring when I learned that our law enforcement officers now carry Narcan due to their risk of over — of overdose,” Sprunger said.
She said she worked closely with the Department of Justice to draft the bill and only those caught with at least 100 pills containing fentanyl or 40 grams of the drug in other forms can be arrested under the bill.