Florida House-25 to Life in Prison For Selling Candy-Looking Fentanyl To Minor

The current trend is “rainbow fentanyl,” a brightly colored fentanyl-laced product that’s particularly dangerous for kids. HB 1359, a bill that’s passed the Florida House, sponsored by Republican State Representative Shane Abbott, ensures drug traffickers will be subject to a one million dollar fine and requires a mandatory minimum of twenty-five years in prison (and up to life in prison) if an adult is connected to selling or delivering to a minor has given at least four grams of fentanyl or a fentanyl analog if it looks like candy or other food products. 

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Republican State Representative Shane Abbot sponsored a bill to make selling or distributing “rainbow fontal” that looks like candy a first-degree felony.

The majority office states that this law will apply to an individual who intends to sell or distribute fentanyl or fentanyl derivatives that look like candy, cereal, or a consumer brand product. Under four grams, an individual who distributes the candy-looking drugs will be subject to a first-degree felony with a mandatory minimum sentence of three years. 

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In the 80s, there was a famous public service commercial targeted at children about the dangers of taking pills from their family bathroom medicine cabinet. The singing puppets, which looked like pills, sang, “We’re not candy. Believe us. Even though we look so fine and dandy.” The idea was the give children a healthy fear of taking random medications. Forty years later, we have a significant problem. The drugs look real, everything from real candy to cereal. Kids are the likely targets, but any adult who has taken a gummy from a friend may want to think twice about doing so. There are stories about people who have taken a Xanax from a friend and have died from fentanyl overdoses. Thankfully, Florida legislators recognize the issues and are creating laws to fight the war on drugs. 

The list of items included in the new law is extensive, indicating how frightening this is. The list consists of resembling a branded food product, consumer food product, or logo product. Incorporating an actual or fake registered copyright, service mark, or trademark; resembling candy cereal, a gummy, a vitamin, or a chewable product, such as a gum or gelatin-based product; or containing a cartoon character imprint. 

The motivation for this bill is that law enforcement agencies have reported increased seizures of fentanyl-laced products that are brightly colored and often resemble candy, popularly known as rainbow fentanyl. The DEA says that drug cartels are mandating rainbow fentanyl to target children and young adults. In three months, from August 2022 to October 2022, the DEA and its law enforcement partners seized various types of rainbow fentanyl in twenty-six states. 

Representative Abbott had this to say to Jolt;

I’m honored to sponsor and help pass this legislation that will give law enforcement the proper tools they need to address the deadly opioid crisis,” said Representative Shane Abbott. “The trend of so-called “rainbow Fentanyl” is a particularly heinous threat to our children, and drug dealers who knowingly flood these opioids into our communities must be locked away from society for a long time. This bill gives prosecutors the ability to do just that. I’m very thankful for Governor DeSantis’ support on this issue, and I will continue to help him accomplish his Pro-Law Enforcement agenda. -Representative Shane Abbott

This new law will benefit all children by holding those accountable who seek to harm our most vulnerable with dangerous narcotics. This bill will keep our communities safer by imposing harsher penalties on those trafficking fentanyl to minors. This new law is essential, but we can all help by openly telling our children about the dangers of drugs, especially ones that look bright and colorful—never taking drugs from anyone. This goes for adults as well. 

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