National Association of Attorneys General Endorse Portman’s FIGHT Fentanyl Act to Help Stop Deadly Fentanyl Overdoses

All 56 State and Territorial Attorneys General Support the Bipartisan FIGHT Fentanyl Act

December 11, 2019 | Press Releases

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, all 56 state and territorial attorneys general issued a letter endorsing Sen. Rob Portman’s (R-OH) bipartisan Federal Initiative to Guarantee Health by Targeting (FIGHT) Fentanyl Act.  

In February 2018, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued a temporary scheduling order to criminalize 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 on February 6, 2020. Portman’s bipartisan FIGHT Fentanyl Act will permanently list fentanyl-related substances as criminally scheduled drugs.     

“I appreciate Ohio Attorney General Yost and Michigan Attorney General Nessel leading all of our country’s attorneys general in urging Congress to pass the FIGHT Fentanyl Act, my bipartisan legislation to permanently criminalize fentanyl-related substances in the United States,” said Portman. “Fentanyl knows no zip code and is devastating individuals and families all across the country. This bipartisan legislation is vital to our efforts to keep fentanyl out of our communities and I urge my colleagues in Congress listen to our attorneys general and join in supporting this common-sense legislation.”  

“Senator Portman realized the urgency required to combat this catastrophic killer,” Yost said. “Through his leadership, we will keep this dangerous, highly addictive opioid as a Schedule I drug.” 

The text of the letter is below and can also be found here. 

December 11, 2019 

Dear Senators Graham and Feinstein, 

We write today to offer our collective support for S. 2701, the Federal Initiative to Guarantee Health by Targeting (FIGHT) Fentanyl Act. 

As you are likely aware, the Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) temporary order classifying fentanyl-related compounds as Schedule I drugs is set to expire on February 6, 2020. The FIGHT Fentanyl Act would codify this temporary order, keeping fentanyl-related substances classified as Schedule I drugs. 

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% involved fentanyl or a fentanyl-related compound. 

Just last month, a coalition of local, state, and federal agencies in Ohio intercepted over 20 kilograms of fentanyl, 1.5 kilograms of methamphetamine, and half a kilogram of heroin. Further testing revealed that the 20 kilograms of fentanyl were laced with carfentanil, which can be over 100 times more potent than fentanyl. The potency of the fentanyl-related substances in this single bust was enough to kill every man, woman, and child in the state of Ohio several times over. 

This legislation is crucial to federal and state efforts to curb the opioid epidemic nationally and within each individual state. It is for these reasons that we commend Senators Portman and Manchin for their leadership in bringing forward this important legislation, and we urge you to take up and pass S. 2701 before the DEA’s temporary order expires.