Bill limiting the animal sedative xylazine passed by the South Dakota House

The South Dakota House approved a bill Wednesday that would classify xylazine, an animal sedative combined with fentanyl and used by some people, as a restricted narcotic.

The legislation, which passed unanimously in the Republican-controlled House and now advances to the Senate, would impose up to two years in prison and a $4,000 fine for xylazine possession and usage. There are several exclusions for veterinary usage, however.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, xylazine in humans can cause health problems such as trouble breathing, dangerously low blood pressure, a slowed heart rate, infected wounds, and death. Last year, the Office of National Drug Control Policy classified the combination of fentanyl and xylazine as an “emerging threat.”

South Dakota’s Health Department and Republican Attorney General Marty Jackley introduced the bill. According to Jackley, Congress has been slow to act despite the fact that xylazine has “become a national epidemic.”

As of right now, “If we were to arrest a drug dealer and they don’t have fentanyl on them yet, and they’ve got a pile of xylazine, we can’t confiscate it, we can’t arrest them for it, and that’s a serious concern,” said Jackley.

Police are encountering xylazine around the state, primarily in Sioux Falls, he said.

Gov. Kristi Noem raised the subject of xylazine in her recent State of the State address.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *