Senator Subramanyam killed Fentanyl Bill
We have a growing fentanyl problem in Loudoun County and in Virginia. Unfortunately, state Sen. Suhas Subramanyam doesn’t seem to care.
Subramanyam voted Jan. 17 to kill SB52, a bill that would have allowed drug dealers to be charged with felony murder if the person to whom they sell fentanyl — or another Schedule I or II — drug dies after taking the drug.
Isn’t that a common-sense bill? A drug dealer sells drugs that are lethal. The person buying the drug dies after taking it. The drug dealer should be charged with murder. But Subramanyam voted against common sense.
State Sen. Ryan McDougle, the bill’s sponsor, “and others who testified in support of his bill told the committee that, currently, if a dealer sold drugs to an individual, left the scene and the purchaser died afterward, the dealer could not be charged with felony murder, which carries a 5- to 40-year sentence,” The Associated Press reported. “But if a person shared drugs with friends at a party, and someone died during the party, the person who provided the drugs could face that charge.”
So, if you share drugs with someone at a party and they die, you’re liable for murder, but if you’re a drug dealer selling lethal drugs and people die, you’re not liable for murder. Where is the sense in that?
Since 2020, there have been more deaths in Virginia from fentanyl than traffic crashes and gun deaths combined, according to Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s Executive Order 26.
Remember October, when Park View High School had seven suspected fentanyl overdoes in a three-week period? Nationally, monthly fentanyl overdose deaths have tripled among teenagers in the last few years.
Hats off to state Sen. Russet Perry, a former prosecutor, who crossed party lines to vote with Republicans in support of this bill.
Still, that was not enough to overcome the Democrat majority on the committee who don’t believe in putting drug dealers who kill with lethal drugs behind bars for a long time.