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Rainbow fentanyl seized by the Drug Enforcement Administration.
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Fentanyl has been added to the list of dangerous drugs recognized by Tribal law.

At the full board meeting this past week, the council voted unanimously to make possession of Fentanyl a felony and it’s included in the list of dangerous drugs described in tribal law. 

Councilman Bryce Kirk said there was no law against this drug at a tribal level. Under federal law, the US Attorney’s Office will not prosecute fentanyl possession unless the amount is equal to 50 pills or more. For law enforcement on the Fort Peck Reservation, most of the crime has been fentanyl related but some people caught with the drug illegally would not face a federal punishment for this. 

For example, if someone were arrested for methamphetamine possession and found to have 20 fentanyl pills the United States would not charge the defendant for the fentanyl. 

Locally, the Tribal Courts could handle these cases. But because of the way the law is written it could only be misdemeanor charges. 

Now, fentanyl possession will be prosecuted as a felony regardless of the amount.

This is the first time the Tribes have passed legislation on the drug, which is classified as a narcotic painkiller by the Food and Drug Administration. It is 100 times stronger than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin. Fentanyl is prescription only, and it’s used to treat severe pain from cancer, surgery, or other complex pain conditions. It has a very high potential for abuse and addiction.

Fentanyl is legally made in the United States and because of the potential for abuse. However, in recent years illicit fentanyl has been produced in foreign clandestine laboratories and is smuggled into the country through Mexico, according to fda.gov.

Locally, the drug is responsible for a large number of deaths and over doses in recent years. 

The small amount of powder next to the penny is the amount of fentanyl that can kill a human being.
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