Tennessee Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III has joined a bipartisan coalition of all 56 attorneys general calling on Congress to permanently classify fentanyl-related substances as Schedule I drugs.
Schedule I drugs are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.
“Drug overdoses in Tennessee related to illicit fentanyl are occurring at an alarming rate,” said General Slatery. “This legislation is essential to state and nationwide efforts to combat the opioid crisis.”
The Drug Enforcement Administration issued a temporary scheduling order in February 2018 to schedule fentanyl-related substances that 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 less than two months from now on Feb. 6, 2020. The FIGHT Fentanyl Act codifies DEA precedent to schedule fentanyl-related substances.
The FIGHT Fentanyl Act will ensure law enforcement agencies and courts retain the tools needed to keep those who traffic in this deadly substance off the streets, said officials.
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 percent involved fentanyl or a fentanyl-related compound.
Attorneys general from every state, territory and the District of Columbia signed the letter which can be read here: https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/attorneygeneral/documents/pr/2019/pr19-49-letter.pdf