Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: April 15, 2014
Sen. Frank Simpson
Senate passes bill adding state’s
most commonly abused prescription drugs to trafficking law
The Senate approved legislation Monday adding four
additional drugs to the state’s Trafficking in Illegal Drugs
Act. House Bill 2589, by Sen. Frank Simpson and Rep. Pat Ownbey,
adds Morphine, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone and Benzodiazepine to the
list of controlled substances in the Act.
“These are four of the most commonly-abused prescription drugs
in our state and are the most commonly found drugs in prescription
drug deaths. Over 80 percent of the drug-related deaths in Oklahoma
involve at least one prescription drug,” said Simpson, R-Ardmore.
“We hope that this bill will limit the trafficking of these
drugs and prevent further senseless deaths and cut down on drug
crimes in Oklahoma.”
Under the Act, anyone who knowingly distributes, manufactures, brings
into the state or possesses any of the controlled substances listed
in the Act will be guilty of trafficking and will face a set punishment
based on the amount and type of drug that was trafficked.
Under HB 2589, anyone found with 1,000 grams or more of morphine;
400 grams or more of oxycodone; at least 50 grams or hydrocodone;
or 15 grams or more of benzodiazepine will face a fine of $100,000
to $500,000. The amounts only have to be a mixture containing a
detectable amount of any of these drugs.
Depending on the quantity in their possession, individuals convicted
under this Act would receive a minimum sentence of ten years, which
is twice the prison term for possession of these substances. For
a second violation of trafficking, the offender would face a sentence
of no less than 15 years, which is three times the sentence for
possession. Finally, for a third or subsequent trafficking offense,
the offender would receive a sentence of life without parole.
HB 2589 was requested by the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics (OBN).
“We want the punishment to fit the crime,” said Mark
Woodward, OBN Legislative Liaison. “It is very rare that someone
would meet these thresholds, but when they do we want prosecutors
to have the option of a stiff penalty for those selling these massive
quantities of pills.”
The bill was amended and will now return to the House for reconsideration.
For more information, contact:
Sen. Simpson: (405) 521-5607