Dear Chairman Durbin and Ranking Member Grassley,
I am writing on behalf of the members of the Fraternal Order of Police to urge you and the Committee on the Judiciary to extend the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) temporary class-wide scheduling order for fentanyl-related substances before it expires on 6 May 2021.
Drug overdose deaths are surging across the country due, in large part, to synthetic opioids– primarily fentanyl and fentanyl analogues. Preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates there were an estimated 50,000 deaths from synthetic opioids between July 2019 and July 2020. Congress gave the DEA the authority to categorize fentanyl and its analogues as Schedule I drugs. While this act played a significant role in curbing the flow of fentanyl-related substances into our communities, this authority was given on a temporary basis, which is set to expire on 6 May 2021. Several bills have been introduced to address the expiration of this scheduling, but as this deadline draws near it is vital that the DEA’s authority be extended to allow Congress time to consider a more permanent solution.
On behalf of the more than 356,000 members of the Fraternal Order of Police, I urge that the DEA’s class-wide scheduling order for fentanyl-related substances be extended. If I can be of any further assistance on this or any other issue, please do not hesitate to contact me or Executive Director Jim Pasco in our Washington office.