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On June 20th, the Pennsylvania House passed a bill decriminalizing the possession of fentanyl test strips and other drug testing kits.

Test tubes in laboratory

Under the current law, possession of the test trips is an ungraded misdemeanor that is punishable by up to a year in jail. With the new bill, test strips used to determine the chemical make-up of a controlled substance will no longer be considered drug paraphernalia under the Controlled Substances Act. Although test strips are most commonly used to test for the presence of fentanyl, the bill would decriminalize the possession of any test that will be used to test substances for safety.

“Giving people the opportunity to avoid drugs that may kill them is a step in the right direction,” said attorney William R. Bickerton.” In an ideal world, we wouldn’t have to take measures like this, but the reality is that we’re dealing with a public health crisis that requires immediate action to protect lives.”

The bill now goes to the Pennsylvania Senate for consideration.

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