Fentanyl Hearing Wrap-Up: Republicans, Law Enforcement & Victim Advocates Want Comprehensive Solution While Democrats Miss Half The Picture

SACRAMENTO – At today’s joint hearing on the fentanyl crisis, Democrats doubled down on their stubborn refusal to hold fentanyl traffickers accountable. Despite calls from Republicans, law enforcement and family members of fentanyl victims for a comprehensive solution that addresses the epidemic from a public health AND public safety perspective, Democrat committee members indicated they will continue to ignore and make excuses for traffickers selling poison to unsuspecting Californians. 

Assemblymember Juan Alanis (R-Modesto) criticized the committee as more of the same, saying “If I could describe today’s hearing in one word it would be: ‘frustrating.’ Today’s special hearing was a lot of talk and once again short on any real action. In my opinion we took a step back from moving on anything bipartisan and meaningful. Again, this legislature chooses to delay, deflect and discuss instead of acting on real bipartisan solutions that are available now. We cannot punt this problem to next year or to the next legislature. Every week we delay, over one hundred more Californians die. I’m not sure what qualifies as an urgent emergency in the eyes of my colleagues, but I believe that taking more immediate and comprehensive action on the poison of fentanyl plaguing our communities across California is just common sense.” 

Assemblyman Joe Patterson (R-Rocklin) and his constituent, Laura Didier, who served as a witness after losing her son to fentanyl in 2020, called for a balanced approach that emphasizes prevention, recovery for people struggling with addiction and accountability for fentanyl traffickers.

From day one I have been clear that the legislature must address the growing fentanyl crisis,” said Patterson. “It’s critical we take a multi-pronged approach including increased awareness, treatment AND, often ignored by the majority, holding dealers and traffickers accountable. This is not political and politics should not stop us from taking action against those bringing this poison into our communities.

I am grateful for this invitation to share my son’s story today. I lost my 17 year old son Zach two and a half years ago to a counterfeit pill made of fentanyl,” said Didier. “People continue to die in record numbers, including teenagers like Zach. We need all hands on deck to address primary prevention, recovery services, and accountability for drug dealers. We need action on this crisis now.” 

Assemblywoman Laurie Davies (R-Laguna Niguel) called for a bipartisan approach to ending the fentanyl epidemic, saying: “Californians of all ages die from fentanyl every day – we must act with a sense of urgency and take the politics out of fentanyl policy. Californians are depending on us to do our job and protect our communities from this catastrophic crisis.”