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Son’s death moves Arizona senator to back legalizing fentanyl testing strips

(Facebook photo/Christine Porter Marsh)

PHOENIX — Arizona could soon legalize fentanyl testing strips and make them available over the counter, something that could help prevent overdoses and death.

Arizona Sen. Christine Marsh’s 25-year-old son, Landon, bought some street Percocet last year.

Landon had just married and his wife left town so he met up with an old friend for dinner.

After dinner, he decided to experiment with the drug – a decision that cost Landon his life.

“Fentanyl has been snuck into pretty much everything out there on the street,” Marsh said. “Nothing is safe.”

“These days, kids cannot do that. One pill can be, and often is, the end. One pill is often the death sentence.”

She now receives emails with heartbreaking stories like hers.

State law currently lists the testing strips, which can be used to detect the presence of fentanyl in drugs, as drug paraphernalia.

Marsh, furious to learn about this categorization, wonders if state law is behind.

“I contend that a night of stupidity shouldn’t necessarily be a death sentence,” the legislator from Phoenix said.

Marsh says the testing strips could also lead to drug interventions, especially if treatment centers give them out.

The state Senate approved SB 1486, which would exclude narcotic drug testing products from the definition of drug paraphernalia.

The House is now considering the bill.

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