ARIZONA NEWS

Fentanyl test strip bill from Arizona lawmaker who lost son becomes law

May 19, 2021, 12:39 PM | Updated: 2:42 pm
(Getty Images Photo/Drew Angerer)...
(Getty Images Photo/Drew Angerer)
(Getty Images Photo/Drew Angerer)

PHOENIX – A year after Arizona Sen. Christine Marsh’s adult son died of a fentanyl overdose, the Democratic lawmaker’s bill legalizing products that detect the powerful opioid was signed into law.

Republican Gov. Doug Ducey signed Senate Bill 1486 on Tuesday, exempting fentanyl test strips from the state’s definition of prohibited drug paraphernalia.

The strips previously fell under the category of equipment that identifies the strength and purity of drugs, which are banned under state law.

Fentanyl can be deadly in small doses and has been implicated in most of Arizona’s overdose deaths, according to a Wednesday press release from Ducey’s office.

“Illegal drug use can be extremely dangerous, and with the prevalence of fentanyl being laced into other drugs, it can be deadly,” Marsh, a teacher who was elected to office in November 2020, less than six months after her death, said in the release.

“We have to make sure families and young Arizonans have the resources needed to prevent a lethal fentanyl overdose, and this legislation will provide an additional tool.”

Landon Marsh died at age 25 after ingesting a pill he thought was Percocet but was tainted with fentanyl.

His mother’s bill passed the Senate unanimously in February and the House by a 48-11 margin last week. All of the no votes were cast by Republicans.

“We want everyone who is using drugs to seek professional treatment,” Ducey said in the release. “But until someone is ready to get help, we need to make sure they have the tools necessary to prevent a lethal overdose.”

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