The clock is ticking for Congress to take action and make sure law enforcement has the tools they need to keep extremely lethal and dangerous drugs off our streets. The emergency scheduling order for fentanyl-related substances is set to expire on October 22, 2021.
There are only 15 days the House is in session between now and October 22. That means Speaker Pelosi has 15 legislative days to schedule a vote to make this permanent.
Fentanyl and fentanyl-related substances are responsible for record high overdose deaths in America. There are deadly consequences if Speaker Pelosi and the Democrats allow this order to expire.
What you need to know if this scheduling order expires:
- Fentanyl-related substances will become street legal.
- Law enforcement will lose the authority to seize these extremely lethal drugs.
- Drug traffickers will be empowered to push deadlier and deadlier drugs on our streets, skirting federal law by changing as little as a molecule in the fentanyl formula to create legal variations.
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection will lose the authority to seize these substances crossing the border.
Lives are on the line:
- In 2020, drug overdoses killed a record number of Americans. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 93,000 people died. It is the highest number ever recorded in a 12-month period.
- This surge in deaths is linked to synthetic opioids, primarily fentanyl and fentanyl- related substances.
- These dangerous drugs are being smuggled across our southern border and are also coming from China. Along parts of the southern border, federal agents have reported a 4,000 percent increase in fentanyl seizures over the last three years.
A deeper dive in our communities:
- In Missouri, a 1-year-old child died in July because of a suspected fentanyl exposure
- The Northeast Georgia Drug Task Force recently seized more than 500 pieces of candy infused with fentanyl. According to law enforcement, “suspects melted Jolly Ranchers candy and fused it with fentanyl, then shaped it in a mold similar to gummy bears.”
- The San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) seized 16 pounds of fentanyl in a single bust in June. The SFPD Chief said that is enough to “wipe out San Francisco’s population four times over.
- Riverside county in California has recorded 158 deaths this year alone where fentanyl was either the primary cause of death or a significant factor. The Riverside County District Attorney believes with that trend they could see 500-600 deaths this year.
- $150 million worth of fentanyl was recently seized during a Wyoming traffic stop.
- In Kentucky, a 2 year old boy was found dead after ingesting fentanyl.
- Parents in Texas lost their 19–year–old son to an accidental overdose caused by a fentanyl-laced Valium pill. His mother said he, “probably paid $10 for his death…He had no idea what he was taking.”
- Just days before her graduation, an 18-year-old and honor roll student in Louisiana died of an accidental overdose from a counterfeit pill likely laced with fentanyl.
Fentanyl is killing a record number of Americans. It is destroying families and leaving people with no hope. It will become even worse if law enforcement no longer has the tools they need to crack down on these lethal drugs.
Bottom line: We need to take swift action to make the emergency class-wide scheduling order for fentanyl-related substances permanent. We need to give law enforcement the tools they need to save lives and keep Americans safe.