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Governor Proposes Program To Combat Heroin Abuse

January 26th, 2016 by WCBC Radio

Gov. Larry Hogan on Tuesday proposed strengthening an existing program and expanded prosecution of drug traffickers to combat heroin and opioid abuse.

That legislation is based on recommendations from Hogan's heroin and opioid emergency task force, which returned its report to Hogan in December, according to a release from the governor's office.

“Our administration is committed to doing everything in our power to bring all the various stakeholders together to find the best ideas, and to work toward solutions to the heroin and opioid crisis that has overtaken our state,” Hogan said. “These two bills will give medical professionals and law enforcement the tools they need to attack this crisis from every direction, with everything we’ve got. This problem is real and it demands our full and immediate attention.”

The legislation would remodel Maryland's gang statute based on the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act, commonly called the RICO act. The release notes 33 states have done the same. The law would also simplify the prosecution of drug traffickers working to further a criminal enterprise, and provide for civil penalties.

It would also phase in mandatory registration and use of the Maryland Prescription Drug Monitoring Program.

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