Iowa Gov. Reynolds signs bill increasing penalties for dealing, possessing fentanyl

(ABC 6 News) – The state of Iowa will enforce stricter penalties on those that are caught delivering or possessing fentanyl.

Iowa Governor Reynolds signed a bill on Tuesday that will increase prison sentences for those convicted of dealing, or possessing the drug.

Individuals caught with more than 50 grams of a fentanyl-related substance would be punishable by up to 50 years in prison and a fine of up to $1,000,000.

Individuals carrying between 5 and 50 grams of a fentanyl-related substance face up to 25 years in prison and up to $100,000. Those caught with under 5 grams face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.

The bill will also increase sentences for people convicted of dealing drugs in cases that lead to an overdose death, as well as drug offenses involving a minor.

The new law also allows law enforcement agencies, fire departments, schools, and health care workers to administer Narcan, the anti-overdose drug, to anyone who experiences an overdose.

Reynolds said Iowa had a 45% increase in opioid overdose deaths from 2019 to 2022 and a 160% spike among Iowans under the age of 25.

The new law takes effect July 1.