HAVERHILL (CBS) – Tuesday was a call for change in Haverhill.
Gov. Charlie Baker wants a stronger solution to the fentanyl problem plaguing Massachusetts.
“It has gone from being part of the story, to being a significant major driving part of the story in regards to overdoses in the Commonwealth,” Baker said.
Current state law requires a minimum of 10 grams of fentanyl to be present in order to charge someone with trafficking. But because of the dangers of just a couple of milligrams, lawmakers want to lower that minimum amount to any traces of the drug.
“If the fentanyl was present then that would be enough to arrest someone,” Baker said.
Haverhill Police Chief Alan DeNaro said the current laws can make it difficult to enforce.
“We haven’t run into that situation, as far as not being able to arrest somebody that has illegal narcotics, but that’s something that could happen because there are some loopholes in the laws that need to be cleaned up,” DeNaro said.
Just a day after President Donald Trump laid out his plan to fight the opioid crisis, Baker reacted to the proposal, including the president’s proposal to give some traffickers the death penalty. Baker is on the president’s commission to stop the opioid crisis.
“If you traffic in this stuff, which means you’re moving major amounts of fentanyl or heroin around and people die as a result, I think we should be able to give DAs the ability to pursue a manslaughter conviction,” Baker said.
The bill, changing the current fentanyl laws, still needs to pass the senate.