Latta, Griffith lead HALT Fentanyl Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Bob Latta, R-Bowling Green, along with Morgan Griffith, a Republican from Virginia, have introduced the Halt All Lethal Trafficking of Fentanyl Act.

Currently, fentanyl and fentanyl related substances temporarily fall under Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act due to a temporary scheduling order that runs through Dec. 31, 2024, they said in a press release.

Due to the increase in overdose deaths related to fentanyl and fentanyl related substances, this bill will address the permanent scheduling of fentanyl analogues in the Schedule I category, as well as grant researchers the ability to conduct studies on these substances.

“Our nation continues to battle a devastating overdose crisis – the vast majority attributed to illicit fentanyl – which has claimed thousands upon thousands of American lives each year,” Latta said. “This epidemic has wreaked havoc on our communities and destroyed far too many families. It’s time to take swift and decisive action to rid our streets and communities of this dangerous drug.”

“Hundreds of thousands of American families have been devastated by the fentanyl crisis, which was the leading cause of death for Americans aged 18-49 in 2021,” House Energy and Commerce Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers said. “Just this month, Energy and Commerce Republicans heard powerful testimony from Deb and Ray Cullen, parents who tragically lost their 23-year-old son, Zach, to an illicit fentanyl poisoning nine days after his birthday when a drug dealer targeted him and his friends. Passing the HALT Fentanyl Act to permanently schedule fentanyl related substances and keep these lethal substances out of our communities is one of the committee’s top priorities.”

Fentanyl and fentanyl related substances continue to flood over the U.S. southern border, according to the release. So far in 2023, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has seized over 9,000 pounds of fentanyl coming across the southern border, enough to kill over 2.1 billion people, or over 6.4 times the U.S. population. Fentanyl is up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. Just a few milligrams, an amount small enough to fit inside the ear of Lincoln on a penny, can be lethal.