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Published: December 13, 2019


TENNESSEE ATTORNEY GENERAL HERBERT H. SLATERY III RECENTLY JOINED A BIPARTISAN COALITION OF ALL 56 ATTORNEY GENERALS CALLING ON CONGRESS TO PERMANENTLY CLASSIFY FENTANYL-RELATED SUBSTANCES AS SCHEDULE I DRUGS. ACCORDING TO A PRESS RELEASE, SCHEDULE I DRUGS ARE DEFINED AS DRUGS WITH NO CURRENTLY ACCEPTED MEDICAL USE AND A HIGH POTENTIAL FOR ABUSE. THE DRUG ENFORCEMENT ADMINISTRATION ISSUED A TEMPORARY SCHEDULING ORDER IN FEBRUARY 2018 TO SCHEDULE 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 LESS THAN TWO MONTHS FROM NOW ON FEB. 6, 2020. THE FIGHT FENTANYL ACT CODIFIES D-E-A PRECEDENT TO SCHEDULE FENTANYL-RELATED SUBSTANCES AND WILL ENSURE LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES AND COURTS RETAIN THE TOOLS NEEDED TO KEEP THOSE WHO TRAFFIC IN THIS DEADLY SUBSTANCE OFF THE STREETS. 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.