Andrew Bailey
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Attorney General Bailey Urges U.S. Senate To Pass Legislation To Crack Down On Fentanyl Crisis

Home 9 Press Release 9 Attorney General Bailey Urges U.S. Senate To Pass Legislation To Crack Down On Fentanyl Crisis

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey joined 22 other states in urging U.S. Senate leadership to pass the HALT Fentanyl Act. The legislation would permanently schedule all current and future fentanyl analogues as Schedule I drugs, giving law enforcement the tools they need to crack down on the epidemic by stopping the flow of the dangerous drugs developed to imitate fentanyl.

“The fentanyl crisis is one that Missourians are affected by every day here at home as drugs pour across the southern border uninhibited,” said Attorney General Bailey. “Every state is a border state thanks to Joe Biden’s refusal to secure the border. I’m calling on the United States Senate to aid in this fight and help save American lives.”

If the bill is passed and signed into law, offenses involving fentanyl-related substances would be triggered by the same quantity thresholds and subject to the same penalties as offenses involving fentanyl. The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed the legislation with bipartisan support, and the attorneys general call on the Senate to do the same.

“The cause of this fentanyl scourge is clear: Mexican drug cartels, including the Sinaloa Cartel and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, import dangerous raw materials from China, use them to produce deadly synthetic opioids at low cost, and unlawfully transport those opioids across the U.S. border,” the attorneys general state in the letter. “The federal government’s response to this existential threat has been woefully deficient… [T]he current Administration’s abject refusal to secure our border—one of the basic duties of any government—is a direct cause of this crisis. Even more fundamentally, however, the federal government has not equipped law enforcement with the tools needed to prosecute the sale and use of illicit fentanyl analogues.”

The attorneys general note in their letter that placing fentanyl analogues on Schedule I must be done permanently. Permanent scheduling allows the criminal prosecution of anyone caught possessing, distributing, or manufacturing illicit variations of the drug—“a task previously burdensome for prosecutors”—without the uncertainty of whether the temporary authorization will expire during the prosecution. Permanently changing the scheduling of fentanyl analogues “would eliminate lengthy litigation and permit prosecutors to quickly remove those involved in the illicit narcotic market from the streets.” Such legislative action “would allow authorities to keep pace with clandestine labs attempting to bypass regulations by altering the chemical structures of controlled substances.”

“The fentanyl crisis has devastated many American communities, families, and lives, including those in our respective States. This national catastrophe requires a serious federal solution. Permanently scheduling fentanyl analogues as Schedule I drugs will allow the federal government to engage resources thus far underutilized in the fight against the fentanyl epidemic, putting drug cartels and traffickers on notice and saving American lives. We urge you to take up and pass the HALT Fentanyl Act as soon as possible,” the attorneys general state in the letter.

Fentanyl is killing Missourians at unprecedented rates, and this problem has only increased under President Biden’s disastrous border policies. Attorney General Bailey continues to fight in the courtroom to force President Biden to secure the southern border. Just last week, he filed suit against the Biden Administration over its attempt to redefine some illegal border crossings as “lawful pathways” into the country.

Missouri is joined by Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming in writing the letter.

The full letter can be read here