(Madison)… 68th Assembly District Representative Jesse James issued the following statement on March 16 regarding the signing of SB 600:
“Today we celebrate the signing of SB 600, which decriminalizes fentanyl testing strips in Wisconsin. This new law will not only save lives, but represents a significant bipartisan effort to address the opioid crisis in our state.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50-100 times more powerful than heroin and morphine. Just 2 milligrams of this substance can be fatal. Fentanyl can be laced into any substance, but has especially been laced into recreational drugs to make them cheaper, more powerful, more addictive, and more deadly.
Fentanyl is so dangerous that it has recently become the number one cause of death for adults aged 18- 45 in the United States. Too many lives have been claimed by the opioid crisis. We know that this new law will help prevent more loss.
By removing fentanyl testing strips from the definition of drug paraphernalia, we are allowing people to test substances, whether illicit or not, for the presence of fentanyl. These safe, affordable, and simple tests are a preemptive measure to allow individuals to make informed decisions.
Today is for Cade Reddington, Erin Kjellstrom, Carter Lukas, their families, and for every other individual in Wisconsin who we have lost due to fentanyl. We look forward to allowing individuals a chance, instead of their story being ended by this drug.
I want to thank my fellow colleagues who introduced this legislation with me, Rep. Sylvia Ortiz-Velez, Rep. Shannon Zimmerman, Sen. Van Wanggaard, and Sen. Lena Taylor. This has been a powerful bipartisan effort; saving lives should never be about politics.
We are one step closer to combating the issue of opioids in our communities. I am grateful that we made this happen and have this tool in our toolbox.”