ACLU-PA Position: Supports
HB 1393 would amend the Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act to explicitly exclude fentanyl test strips from the definition of drug paraphernalia. Currently, Section 780-113 (33) of the Controlled Substance Act prohibits the use or possession of drug paraphernalia for various purposes, and fentanyl test strips are considered "drug paraphernalia,” chargeable as an ungraded misdemeanor offense and punishable by up to 1 year in prison and up to $2,500 in fines.
As fentanyl is increasingly being added to heroin to increase its potency—often without the knowledge of those who use it—overdose deaths continue to rise. By legalizing fentanyl test strips, HB 1393 would help those in the grip of addiction avoid a potentially deadly overdose without fear of facing criminal charges.
Governor Wolf signed HB 1393 into law on November 3rd as Act 111 of 2022.