Washington, DC—Today, U.S. Representative John Rose voted “Yes” on H.R. 467, the Halt Fentanyl Act, which would permanently classify fentanyl-related substances as Schedule I drugs under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and allow law enforcement officials to continue seizing them at our borders and in communities across the United States.
The bipartisan legislation passed 289-133.
Rep. Rose released the following statement:
“Without this legislation, homegrown fentanyl would effectively become street legal. Our law enforcement officers would lose their ability to seize this deadly drug in our communities and at the southern border,” Rep. Rose said. “As the number one killer of Americans between the ages of 18 and 49, it’s a no-brainer to permanently criminalize this deadly drug.”
The current Schedule I designation for fentanyl-related substances is set to expire Dec. 31, 2024, effectively legalizing many variations of the deadly drug, until the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has identified and scheduled each chemical formula individually. As of December 2022, the DEA reported 38 new substances meeting the definition of fentanyl-related substances. By placing all fentanyl-related substances in Schedule 1, H.R. 467 aims to remove the incentive for producers of homegrown or chemically altered fentanyl drugs.
In 2017, the DEA controlled all fentanyl-related substances in Schedule 1; however, the agency’s emergency scheduling authority only lasts two years. Since then, Congress has passed a series of extensions to maintain the designation.
The CSA places all drugs, substances, and certain chemicals into one of five schedules depending on their acceptable medical use and dependence potential. Schedule 1 drugs are defined as drugs with no current accepted medical use, a high potential for abuse, and have the potential to create severe psychological and/or physical dependance.
In 2022, 109,680 people died from drug overdose. Most of the increases in fentanyl deaths over the last three years are related to illicitly made fentanyl that is being mixed with or without the users’ knowledge. In FY 2023 alone, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) seized over 14,000 pounds of fentanyl coming across the Southwest border—enough to kill 3.1 billion people.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://johnrose.house.gov/media/press-releases/us-rep-john-rose-applauds-passage-halt-fentanyl-act