Fentanyl Epidemic Does not Discriminate

Fentanyl Epidemic Does not Discriminate

Grayson Bakich
Grayson Bakich
December 14, 2022

The fentanyl scourge nearly claims another victim in Florida. Disturbing footage shows Tavares police officer Courtney Bannick overdosing on the substance after discovering it on a driver whom she had stopped. Despite wearing gloves, she is exposed to fentanyl.

The footage shows fellow officers administering Narcan to an unresponsive Bannick, who initially regains consciousness. However, she visibly stops breathing again after a moment, which requires more Narcan.

Thankfully, the other officers are able to take Bannick to a nearby hospital, where she expects a full recovery. "I have done this one-hundred times before the same way. It only takes one time and a minimal amount. I’m thankful I wasn’t alone and had immediate help," says Bannick.

Incidents such as this only reinforce Florida lawmakers' efforts in stopping fentanyl.

Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL-16) is the first to speak about the incident, tweeting that he is "praying for Officer Bannick’s speedy recovery. Stories like this are exactly why we need to crack down on deadly fentanyl pouring across our southern border and pass my bill, the FIGHT Fentanyl Act, to permanently classify fentanyl as a schedule I drug."

Similarly, Rep. Kat Cammack (R-FL-3) replies to Buchanan "fentanyl has poured into our communities and is affecting communities across the Sunshine State and the nation. Praying for Officer Bannick and our LEOs everywhere working to keep this dangerous drug off of our streets."

Other Florida lawmakers have been just as vocal about combating fentanyl. In September, Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced a bill that would equivocate dealing fentanyl with felony murder.

"At this point, no dealer or government official can plead ignorance of this drug’s lethality," says Rubio. "People who knowingly distribute lethal fentanyl deserve the strictest sentence possible," adds Scott.

Similarly in November, AG Ashley Moody announced a "One Pill can Kill" page describing the dangers and effects of fentanyl, even demanding the Biden administration classify the substance as a weapon of mass destruction.

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Grayson Bakich

Grayson Bakich

Florida born and raised, Grayson Bakich is a recent recipient of a Master’s Degree in Political Science at the University of Central Florida. His thesis examined recent trends in political polarization and how this leads into justification of violence.

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