DES MOINES – Attorney General Bird joined Governor Reynolds for a roundtable discussion with local law enforcement and signing of the fentanyl bill they partnered on to increase penalties for drug users and dealers.
The new law raises punishments to 50 years in prison for individuals found guilty of possessing or distributing substances of more than 50 grams containing fentanyl, up to 25 years involving between 5-50 grams, and up to 10 years involving 10 grams or less.
The law also triples those sentences when a dealer gives someone that drug and it kills them. Previously, if a drug dealer gave someone fentanyl, and they died, Iowa did not have an adequate law to address it. The new law will also increase the punishment if an individual is severely injured, or if a minor is involved.
“As a mother, I know there is nothing more important than keeping our kids safe. And as a prosecutor, nothing is harder than looking a family in the eye and telling them that the law does not provide the justice they deserve.” said Attorney General Bird. “Today’s bill signing provides justice for Iowa families and victims across the state. I thank Governor Reynolds for partnering on this legislation to hold drug dealers accountable, give prosecutors the tools they need to seek justice for victims, and stop the flow of dangerous drugs through our communities. This bill will save lives.”
470 Iowans died due to overdose in 2021, a 75% increase from 2019, and the threat of exposure to fatal drugs, such as fentanyl, is ongoing. This law seeks to address the rise in deaths by drug overdoses and to hold criminal drug dealers and users accountable. It also expands access to opioid overdose reversal drugs like naloxone to include rehab facilities, law enforcement agencies, emergency medical services programs, fire departments, school districts, health care providers, and more.
Read the full bill here.
For More Information:
Alyssa Brouillet | Press Secretary