White House backs GOP bill to classify fentanyl as Schedule I substance
The White House announced Monday it supports a Republican-led bill that would place all fentanyl-related substances under the most dangerous classification of drugs.
The Halt All Lethal Trafficking of Fentanyl Act, led by Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Va., would expedite research into fentanyl-related substances and classify them all under Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. That classification is for drugs that have no medical value and are highly addictive.
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The White House said the bill, whose 52 cosigners are Republicans, is aligned with President Biden’s public safety agenda.
“These two provisions are critical components of the Biden-Harris Administration’s 2021 recommendations to Congress to combat the supply of illicit FRS and save lives,” the White House memo stated. “The Administration’s 2021 recommendations to Congress included additional provisions to improve public safety. The Administration calls on Congress to pass all of these critical measures to improve public safety and save lives.”
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No Democrats in the House of Representatives have cosponsored the bill with Griffith.
The push to pass the legislation comes as drug overdoses hit all-time high levels – surpassing 106,000 in 2021, nearly 71,000 of them from opioids. A significant portion of these overdoses are from fentanyl, which is a cheaper and stronger opioid preferred by addicts that increased in popularity in recent years.
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The House is expected to vote on the bill this week, and passage will send it to the Senate, where it could gain support with Biden’s endorsement.