Sup. Sylvia Ortiz-Velez
Press Release

Ortiz-Velez Resolution Supporting Fentanyl Testing Strip Legalization Adopted by County Board

 

By - Jul 29th, 2021 02:15 pm

MILWAUKEE – The County Board of Supervisors today unanimously adopted a resolution by Supervisor Sylvia Ortiz-Velez calling on the State of Wisconsin to legalize fentanyl testing strips.

“Everyone should be concerned that between 2015 and 2020 the number of overdose deaths involving fentanyl in the county went from 8% to 73%,” said Supervisor Ortiz-Velez.

Possessing fentanyl testing strips is illegal under current state law for both community members and first responders. Without access to testing strips drug users risk overdose from the otherwise undetectable presence of fentanyl.

“Fentanyl testing strips can be used to detect the presence of fentanyl in a substance and prevent accidental overdoses,” Supervisor Ortiz-Velez said. “Law enforcement officers, emergency medical technicians, and firefighters are often among the first at the scene. They’re the ones who might encounter expected overdoses, and the ability to ascertain if fentanyl was involved will help them do their job.”

Community leaders including TEAM HAVOC and Milwaukee Heroin Diaries founder Rafael MercadoGod Touch Ministries pastor Marty Calderon, and State Senator Lena Taylor showed enthusiastic support for this resolution.

Supervisors Willie Johnson Jr., Eddie Cullen, Ryan Clancy, Steven Shea, Sequanna Taylor, Joseph J. Czarnezki, Priscilla Coggs-Jones, and Chairwoman Marcelia Nicholson co-sponsored the resolution and understand the importance of our State Legislature taking up this issue.

The resolution now heads to the desk of Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley.

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