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Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris Advances Bill to Address Fentanyl Crisis

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO – Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Irvine) has successfully advanced Assembly Bill 1027, a bill that will strengthen California’s efforts to combat illicit drug sales online by requiring greater transparency and accountability from social media platforms operating in California. The bill received unanimous, bipartisan support in the State Senate’s Judiciary Committee.

Fentanyl is currently the most deadly drug circulating on the illegal drug market. It is easy and cheap to manufacture, and is often masked and marketed in the form of counterfeit prescription pills. In fact, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) recently released a warning on the sharp increase in fake prescription drugs containing fentanyl. Fentanyl accounted for nearly 108,000 deaths in the United States in 2022.

Drug dealers have capitalized on the easy communication and anonymity of social media sites to target pre-teens, teens and unhoused youth. For instance, some social media platforms have chat settings designed to erase chat history after just a few hours. This makes it incredibly difficult for law enforcement to track and prosecute online fentanyl traffickers. AB 1027 would require that social media platforms retain, for 90 days, data on content they have removed for violating their platform’s policies prohibiting the sale or distribution of illicit drugs. This important change will aid law enforcement as they seek to track down drug traffickers and bring them to justice.

 “My colleagues and I are working with urgency to address this crisis in a meaningful way and to enact policies to keep our families safe,” said Assemblywoman Petrie-Norris. “This drug is ravaging our communities every day. Kids are dying. We need to ensure that our law enforcement partners have every tool they need to fight this epidemic. It is clear that this crisis is urgent and immediate action is vital.”

AB 1027 will next be heard in the Senate Committee on Public Safety on Tuesday, July 11th.