Dear Senators Portman and Manchin,
I am writing on behalf of the members of the Fraternal Order of Police to advise you of our support for your bill, S. 2701, the “Federal Initiative to Guarantee Health by Targeting (FIGHT) Fentanyl Act.”
Synthetic fentanyl is cheaper than normal opioids, 50 times more deadly than heroin and 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine. Depending on the method of administration and other factors, as little as 2 milligrams of illicit fentanyl-similar in size to just a few grains of salt-can be fatal. According to preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 32,000 deaths involving synthetic opioids-largely fentanyl-occurred in the United States already in 2019.
In February 2018, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued a temporary order to schedule fentanyl-related substances a Schedule I. This has allowed Federal law enforcement authorities to bring criminal charges against individuals who manufacture, distribute, or handle these deadly fentanyl-related substances. Unfortunately, this scheduling order will expire on 7 February 2020, creating a deadly loophole that will allow fentanyl-related substances back into our communities.
This commonsense, bipartisan legislation will potentially save thousands of lives in the United States by permanently scheduling fentanyl-related substances as Schedule I drugs. It will ensure that our local, State and Federal law enforcement agencies have the statutory authority to stop these criminals from pushing these poisons into our communities.
On behalf of the more than 349,000 members of the Fraternal Order of Police, I am proud to offer our support for this legislation. If I can be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me or my Executive Director, Jim Pasco, in my Washington office.