Dear Senators Grassley, Feinstein, Ernst and Hassan,
I am writing on behalf of the members of the Fraternal Order of Police to advise you of our strong support for your bill, S. 2351, the “Stop the Importation and Manufacturing of Synthetic Analogues (SIMSA) Act.”
Existing laws prohibit the unauthorized use of certain specific controlled substances. However, illicit drug-makers and importers are circumventing these laws by slightly altering the molecular structure of a controlled drug to create a new, yet significantly similar substance, which is not specifically illegal. This allows them to make, market, and move substances that are intended to have the same potentially deadly effect as controlled drugs prohibited by existing law. Hundreds of these synthetic drugs are manufactured overseas in China without regulation or any lawful medical purpose. These drugs are specifically designed to evade the law. This is costing children and teenagers their lives.
Under the current drug scheduling system, uncontrolled substances must first be subject to a time-consuming analysis before being permanently regulated or prohibited. To fight the rapid spread of deadly synthetic drugs—which can quickly be re-engineered to circumvent Federal laws designed to prohibit them—this legislation is designed to help law enforcement more rapidly respond to the fast-paced modification of synthetic drugs such as analogues to fentanyl.
By modernizing the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), this legislation will add a Schedule A to the existing five schedules of the CSA. It will establish a mechanism by which synthetic analogues can be temporarily added to Schedule A by the Attorney General if the substance meets the criteria and if scheduling the substance will assist in preventing abuse. Prior to issuance, the Attorney General shall notify the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) and take into consideration any comments submitted by the Secretary. Temporary scheduling may occur for up to five years.
On behalf of the more than 356,000 members of the Fraternal Order of Police, I am proud to offer our support for this legislation. If I can provide any additional information about this bill, please do not hesitate to contact me or Executive Director Jim Pasco in our Washington, D.C. office.