While law enforcement continues to target heroin abuse in Wisconsin, a state lawmaker worries dealers and user could turn to a legal product that produces a similar high.
State Representative Joel Kleefisch (R-Oconomowoc) says so-called synthetic heroin products are completely legal, but they can be just as deadly while producing a high that can be even more potent that regular heroin. He worries that criminals looking to get ahead of the law will turn to the product, as they state continues passing laws that target opioid abuse. “Criminals are constantly trying to get ahead of the laws…we have to work just as hard as they do.”
The product, known as U-47700, can be legally purchased online. It’s been linked to at least two deaths in Racine County, and dozens more nationwide.
Kleefisch plans to introduce a bill during the next legislative session that would outlaw synthetic heroin products in Wisconsin, similar to an existing state law banning synthetic marijuana. “We want to make sure that when there is something out there that can kill somebody, in the form of heroin or synthetic heroin, we do the best we can to give police and prosecutors the tools to stop it,” he says.