‘Parker’s Law’ in effect July 1
State Rep. Jill Ford said House Bill 607, a.k.a “Parker’s Law,” will make sure drug dealers, not people suffering from drug addiction, are convicted and sent to prison.
Ford, who co-authored Parker’s Law along with Rep. Trey Lamar, said Parker’s Law goes into effect on July 1. She said the law was inspired by the story of Parker Rodenbaugh, who died from complications of a deadly synthetic drug given to him by a drug dealer in 2014.
“We wanted to make sure people who get involved with drugs are not convicted of a crime, but rather the people who are dealing the drugs,” Ford said. “This law is a good start, but we have room to improve it. It is hard to prove that someone sold the drugs knowing what was in it with the intent to kill. We don’t want what happened to Parker to happen to other people.”
According to the bill, a person who delivers or causes the delivery of fentanyl with knowledge of the fentanyl commits the crime of "fentanyl delivery resulting in death.”
She said the crime is a result of the unlawful delivery of fentanyl in exchange for anything of value to another person, and death to a person result from the cause of injection, oral ingestion or inhalation of the fentanyl.
When convicted of this crime, the person is sentenced to prison for no less than 20 years to a term of life in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections.
“My hope is that this law gives us another opportunity to put those who are breaking the law in jail,” Ford said. “It’s unfortunate that the typical response from parents is disappointment. So many people are not heavy drug users, and they got involved with a pill that looks innocent.”
The bill says that any person, who in good faith, without malice and in the absence of evidence of an intent to defraud, seeks medical assistance for someone experiencing a fentanyl overdose shall not be charged or prosecuted, if the evidence for the charge was gained as a result of the seeking of medical assistance.
“One drug that is raging in Madison County right now is the M30 counterfeit pill made to look like Oxy Codone,” Ford said. “This pill could have fentanyl in it. Those who are making them have illegal pill presses, and they’re adding 1 milligram of fentanyl to them. Sometimes they add more than that, and 2 milligrams of fentanyl can kill a normal-sized adult.”
Ford said the law will give law enforcement one more tool at their disposal.
“The public needs to know that if you’re found with a pill press that isn’t registered with the Mississippi State Department of Health, they’ll get charged and penalized,” Ford said.
Ford noted May 10 is Fentanyl Awareness Day, and she and other Representatives are trying to make sure as many people as possible know this is happening.
“One pill can kill,” she said.
House Bill 607, a.k.a “Parker’s Law,” takes effect and will be in force on July 1, 2022.