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AG Derek Schmidt urges Congress to permanently classify fentanyl as Schedule I drug

Release Date: Dec 11, 2019

TOPEKA – (December 11, 2019) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has joined a bipartisan coalition of all 56 state and territory attorneys general in calling on the U.S. Congress to permanently classify fentanyl-related substances as Schedule I drugs.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in February 2018 issued a temporary scheduling order classifying fentanyl-related substances as Schedule I drugs, which has allowed federal law enforcement authorities to bring criminal actions against individuals who manufacture, distribute or handle fentanyl-related substances. This scheduling order is set to expire in less than two months on February 6, 2020.

In a letter sent this week to the Senate Judiciary Committee, the attorneys general urged Congress to pass S. 2701, the Federal Initiative to Guarantee Health by Targeting (FIGHT) Fentanyl Act. The legislation, introduced by U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), would codify the DEA order and permanently schedule fentanyl-related substances, ensuring law enforcement agencies and courts retain the tools needed to keep those who traffic in this deadly substance off the streets.

In the most recent data available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 72,000 drug-related deaths in the United States in 2017. Of those deaths, roughly 40% involved fentanyl or a fentanyl-related compound.

Schedule I drugs are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.

A copy of the letter can be found at https://bit.ly/36jyFzo.

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