What Can Make a 911 Call a Felony? Fentanyl at the Scene

The Law Enforcement/Judicial Industry and the Prison Industrial Complex will do anything they can to keep the War on Drugs alive and ticking as more and more states legalize pot.

The Opioid Crisis is this year’s Crack Cocaine Crisis or this year’s Reefer Madness.

From The New York Times:  https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/17/us/fentanyl-police-emt-overdose.html

By Peter Andrey Smith<
Dec. 17, 2018

ALTON, N.H. — Eric Weil, a gregarious 50-year-old painter who lives in a wooded neighborhood hugging the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee, never suspected he would face felony charges when he called 911 last August.

He had agreed to take in a friend’s son who was struggling with addiction, on the condition that no drugs be brought into his house. When Mr. Weil discovered a packet of white powder in the guest bedroom, he called 911. “Somebody’s messed up in my house,” he recalled saying. “He’s on drugs. I don’t know what he’s on. Can we get somebody here?”

When officers arrived, Mr. Weil tried to hand over the packet, but was told to drop it onto his gravel driveway. He did, but picked it up again out of concern, he later said, that his Yorkshire terrier, Schnoogabutch, or his free-range chickens would be exposed.

As he picked up the packet, some powder got on his index finger and he blew it off. The police later said that he blew “a large cloud” of the powder toward them, exposing one officer to fentanyl, an opioid whose use has driven up the number of overdose deaths nationwide to a record high.

Mr. Weil was charged with reckless conduct, something akin to waving a loaded gun in the air. Prosecutors argued that fentanyl was a deadly weapon.

As stories circulate of the lethality of powdered fentanyl and its cousin, carfentanil, similar cases have been brought in Maine, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin, North Carolina and Kentucky, with charges ranging from wanton endangerment to assault.

At least two people are serving sentences of up to three years. In the widely reported case of an Ohio officer who was said to have nearly died after brushing some fentanyl off his shirt, a man pleaded guilty to assault and was sentenced to 18 months. More than 10 other cases are pending.

Medical professionals say that the risks from accidental exposure to opioids, even potent ones, are actually very low. The prosecutions have been driven by fear, they say — not science. None of the incidents has caused a death, or even symptoms of opioid overdose, a review of the available evidence shows.

Even so, fear is rampant: there has been no shortage of warnings that unidentified powders can kill. A 2016 video by the Drug Enforcement Administration warned law enforcement that touching fentanyl or breathing in just a few airborne particles could be fatal.

Continue reading at:  https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/17/us/fentanyl-police-emt-overdose.html

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