The Justice Department Wants to Put Small-Time Fentanyl Dealers in Federal Prison

The following excerpt is from an article that originally appeared on Hit and Run

Image source: DOJIf there was any question that Attorney General Jeff Sessions has little patience for treating opioid addiction as a public health issue, a Department of Justice letter to the U.S. Sentencing Commission from July 31 provides some troubling clarity. In addition to asking for longer sentences for immigration and gun offenses, the Department insists that the commissioners change federal sentencing guidelines so “that defendants who distribute seemingly small quantities of fentanyl face prison time.”

How small?

Distribution of any amount of fentanyl up to four grams, or one gram of a fentanyl analog, is currently a level 12 offense, punishable by 10-to-16 months in federal prison for people with little to no criminal history, all the way up to 30-to-37 months for someone with considerable criminal history.

But because fentanyl can be lethal in doses as small as two milligrams and because four grams is “sufficient to kill

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