Bill Text: NJ S291 | 2018-2019 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Increases penalties for unlawfully manufacturing, distributing, or dispensing fentanyl.

Spectrum: Slight Partisan Bill (Republican 3-1)

Status: (Introduced) 2018-01-09 - Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee [S291 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2018-S291-Introduced.html

SENATE, No. 291

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

 

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2018 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  JAMES W. HOLZAPFEL

District 10 (Ocean)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Senator Pennacchio

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Increases penalties for unlawfully manufacturing, distributing, or dispensing fentanyl.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel.

  


An Act concerning certain controlled dangerous substances and amending N.J.S.2C:35-5.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    N.J.S.2C:35-5 is amended to read as follows:

     2C:35-5.  Manufacturing, Distributing or Dispensing. 

     a.     Except as authorized by P.L.1970, c.226 (C.24:21-1 et seq.), it shall be unlawful for any person knowingly or purposely:

     (1)  To manufacture, distribute or dispense, or to possess or have under his control with intent to manufacture, distribute or dispense, a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog; or

     (2)  To create, distribute, or possess or have under his control with intent to distribute, a counterfeit controlled dangerous substance.

     b.    Any person who violates subsection a. with respect to:

     (1) (a) Heroin, or its analog,[or coca] in a quantity of five ounces or more including any adulterants or dilutants;

     (b) Coca leaves and any salt, compound, derivative, or preparation of coca leaves, and any salt, compound, derivative, or preparation thereof which is chemically equivalent or identical with any of these substances, or analogs, except that the substances shall not include decocainized coca leaves or extractions which do not contain cocaine or ecogine,  or 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine or 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine, in a quantity of five ounces or more including any adulterants or dilutants; or

     (c) Fentanyl in a quantity of five ounces or more including any adulterants or dilutants, 

     is guilty of a crime of the first degree.  The defendant shall, except as provided in N.J.S.2C:35-12, be sentenced to a term of imprisonment by the court.  The term of imprisonment shall include the imposition of a minimum term which shall be fixed at, or between, one-third and one-half of the sentence imposed, during which the defendant shall be ineligible for parole.  Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:43-3, a fine of up to $500,000.00 may be imposed;

     (2)   A substance referred to in paragraph (1) of this subsection, in a quantity of one-half ounce or more but less than five ounces, including any adulterants or dilutants is guilty of a crime of the second degree;

     (3)   A substance referred to in paragraph (1) of this subsection in a quantity less than one-half ounce including any adulterants or
dilutants is guilty of a crime of the third degree except that, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:43-3, a fine of up to $75,000.00 may be imposed;

     (4)  A substance classified as a narcotic drug in Schedule I or II other than those specifically covered in this section, or the analog of any such substance, in a quantity of one ounce or more including any adulterants or dilutants is guilty of a crime of the second degree;

     (5)  A substance classified as a narcotic drug in Schedule I or II other than those specifically covered in this section, or the analog of any such substance, in a quantity of less than one ounce including any adulterants or dilutants is guilty of a crime of the third degree except that, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:43-3, a fine of up to $75,000.00 may be imposed;

     (6)  Lysergic acid diethylamide, or its analog, in a quantity of 100 milligrams or more including any adulterants or dilutants, or phencyclidine, or its analog, in a quantity of 10 grams or more including any adulterants or dilutants, is guilty of a crime of the first degree. Except as provided in N.J.S.2C:35-12, the court shall impose a term of imprisonment which shall include the imposition of a minimum term, fixed at, or between, one-third and one-half of the sentence imposed by the court, during which the defendant shall be ineligible for parole. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:43-3, a fine of up to $500,000.00 may be imposed;

     (7)  Lysergic acid diethylamide, or its analog, in a quantity of less than 100 milligrams including any adulterants or dilutants, or where the amount is undetermined, or phencyclidine, or its analog, in a quantity of less than 10 grams including any adulterants or dilutants, or where the amount is undetermined, is guilty of a crime of the second degree;

     (8)  Methamphetamine, or its analog, or phenyl-2-propanone (P2P), in a quantity of five ounces or more including any adulterants or dilutants is guilty of a crime of the first degree. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:43-3, a fine of up to $300,000.00 may be imposed;

     (9)  (a)  Methamphetamine, or its analog, or phenyl-2-propanone (P2P), in a quantity of one-half ounce or more but less than five ounces including any adulterants or dilutants is guilty of a crime of the second degree;

     (b)  Methamphetamine, or its analog, or phenyl-2-propanone  (P2P), in a quantity of less than one-half ounce including any adulterants or dilutants is guilty of a crime of the third degree except that notwithstanding the provisions of subsection b. of  N.J.S.2C:43-3, a fine of up to $75,000.00 may be imposed;

     (10)  (a)  Marijuana in a quantity of 25 pounds or more including any adulterants or dilutants, or 50 or more marijuana plants, regardless of weight, or hashish in a quantity of five pounds or more including any adulterants or dilutants, is guilty of a crime of the first degree.  Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:43-3, a fine of up to $300,000.00 may be imposed;

     (b)  Marijuana in a quantity of five pounds or more but less than 25 pounds including any adulterants or dilutants, or 10 or more but fewer than 50 marijuana plants, regardless of weight, or hashish in a quantity of one pound or more but less than five pounds, including any adulterants and dilutants, is guilty of a crime of the second degree;

     (11)  Marijuana in a quantity of one ounce or more but less than five pounds including any adulterants or dilutants, or hashish in a quantity of five grams or more but less than one pound including any adulterants or dilutants, is guilty of a crime of the third degree except that, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection b. of  N.J.S.2C:43-3, a fine of up to $25,000.00 may be imposed;

     (12)  Marijuana in a quantity of less than one ounce including any adulterants or dilutants, or hashish in a quantity of less than five grams including any adulterants or dilutants, is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree;

     (13)  Any other controlled dangerous substance classified in Schedule I, II, III or IV, or its analog, is guilty of a crime of the third degree, except that, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:43-3, a fine of up to $25,000.00 may be imposed; or

     (14)  Any Schedule V substance, or its analog, is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree except that, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:43-3, a fine of up to $25,000.00 may be imposed.

     c.     Where the degree of the offense for violation of this section depends on the quantity of the substance, the quantity involved shall be determined by the trier of fact.  Where the indictment or accusation so provides, the quantity involved in individual acts of manufacturing, distribution, dispensing or possessing with intent to distribute may be aggregated in determining the grade of the offense, whether distribution or dispensing is to the same person or several persons, provided that each individual act of manufacturing, distribution, dispensing or possession with intent to distribute was committed within the applicable statute of limitations.

(cf: P.L.2000, c.136, s.1)

 

     2.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill would increase the penalties for unlawfully manufacturing, distributing, or dispensing fentanyl.  Fentanyl is an anesthetic and analgesic, first synthesized in the 1950's, that in recent years has become a drug of abuse. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, fentanyl is 30 to 50 times more potent than heroin and is potentially lethal even at very low doses.

     Under current law, set out in paragraphs (4) and (5) of subsection b. of N.J.S.2C:35-5 and section 6 of P.L.1970, c.226 (C.24:21-6), unlawfully manufacturing, distributing, or dispensing fentanyl in a quantity of one ounce or more is a crime of the second degree. A crime of the second degree is generally punishable by a term of imprisonment of five to ten years or a fine up to $150,000, or both.   Unlawfully manufacturing, distributing or dispensing fentanyl in a quantity of less than one ounce is a crime of the third degree. A crime of the third degree is generally punishable by a term of three to five years or a fine up to $15,000, or both.  However, the fine imposed for the third degree offense involving fentanyl is increased to up to $75,000.

     Under the bill, the penalties for unlawfully manufacturing, distributing, or dispensing fentanyl would match the penalties for manufacturing, distributing, or dispensing heroin or cocaine under current law.  The bill provides that unlawfully manufacturing, distributing, or dispensing fentanyl in a quantity of five ounces or more would be a crime of the first degree. A crime of the first degree is generally punishable by a term of imprisonment of 10 to 20 years or a fine of up to $200,000, or both.  Under the bill the defendant would be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of one-third to one-half of the sentence imposed, during which the defendant would be ineligible for parole. The defendant would also be sentenced to pay an increased fine of up to  $500,000.

     The bill provides that if the quantity of fentanyl unlawfully manufactured, distributed, or dispensed is one-half ounce or more but less than five ounces, the defendant would be guilty of a crime of the second degree.  If the quantity is less than one-half ounce, the defendant would be guilty of a crime of the third degree with an increased fine of up to $75,000.

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