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Saturday, January 22nd, 2022

Bipartisan legislators seek to prioritize halting fentanyl trafficking

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A group of lawmakers recently forwarded correspondence to Congressional leadership, noting the effort seeks prioritization of efforts to stop fentanyl trafficking.

U.S. Reps. Chris Pappas (D-NH) and Vern Buchanan (R-FL) led 36 of their colleagues in advocating action to permanently classify fentanyl analogues as a Schedule I substance while providing law enforcement and public health experts with to combat the ongoing opioid epidemic.

“The ongoing opioid crisis is ravaging our communities and only getting worse, with annual overdose deaths topping 100,000 for the first time in 2021,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter to House of Representatives Majority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House of Representatives Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). “As you know, opioids like fentanyl have claimed the lives of our family members, friends, and neighbors at alarming rates in our home states and across the country. In many of these unfortunate cases, the fentanyl and other illicit substances are trafficked from outside the United States, which is why it is critical that we strengthen international efforts to combat fentanyl trafficking, including increased collaboration and capacity-building measures.”

In November 2021, there were 1,113 pounds of fentanyl seized by Customs and Border Protection agents, possessing the potential to kill more than 250 million people, the legislators noted.

“Additional legislation is needed to keep deadly synthetic drugs off the streets by permanently classifying fentanyl-related substances under Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act,” the lawmakers concluded. “We must take tougher steps to keep deadly substances like fentanyl out of our neighborhoods and bring those responsible to justice.”