Press Releases

Luetkemeyer Introduces Bill to Stop Illicit Fentanyl Trafficking

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03) introduced the bipartisan Stopping Illicit Fentanyl Trafficking Act to permanently schedule all illicit fentanyl. This legislation would permanently codify the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) emergency scheduling of illicit fentanyl which is set to expire in May 2021. It would create a long-term solution for scheduling of fentanyl analogues that allows for the Secretary of Health and Human Services in conjunction with the Attorney General and Department of Justice to schedule or de-schedule fentanyl analogues.

“One of the unfortunate consequences of the pandemic and subsequent shutdowns across the country has been a major spike in substance abuse and overdose deaths in Missouri. While mental health and substance abuse services are now available again to anyone who needs them, America is now facing another problem: a spike in overdose deaths due to a major increase in illicit fentanyl coming across our border. Unlike my Republican colleagues and I, the Biden Administration does not believe in securing our southern border which makes this legislation even more critical in order to prevent further loss of life and damage to our communities.” 

According to recent data from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1,000 drug overdose deaths occurred in the United States in the 12 months ending in May 2020, the highest number of overdose deaths ever recorded in a 12-month period. Synthetic opioids (primarily illicitly manufactured fentanyl) appear to be the primary driver of the increases in overdose deaths, increasing nearly 40% in a in a 12-month period. Additionally, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has seized 4,923 pounds of fentanyl in the first five months of FY 2021, surpassing the FY 2020 numbers by 147 pounds already. For reference, a 3-milligram dose of fentanyl is enough to kill an average-sized adult male.

“The opioid crisis has affected nearly every Missourian, both directly and indirectly, and recent surges in fentanyl have only exacerbated and increased the death and destruction caused by this crisis. We support action and legislation that will work to help stop this flow of deadly fentanyl into our state and stem overdose deaths.” – Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt 

“NDAA is proud to support the Stopping Illicit Fentanyl Trafficking Act as this important legislation ensures fentanyl analogues and substances that do not have a medical purpose remain scheduled by the Drug Enforcement Agency. This bill will make communities safer and arm prosecutors with the tools needed to keep the illicit flow of fentanyl out of the communities we serve.” – Nelson Bunn, National District Attorneys Association Executive Director

“Missouri’s prosecutors see firsthand how the opioid crisis has ravaged our communities. More than anything, unregulated, illegal fentanyl has become the darkest menace, and is not only fueling addictions, but is also bringing death and destruction.” – Dan Patterson, Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys President

“As Police Chiefs throughout the State of Missouri, we are all too aware of the effects that fentanyl, and fentanyl related substances have had in our state. Statistics show a 40% increase in the number of overdose deaths as of May 2020 with fentanyl being the primary cause.” – Colonel Sean Fagan, Missouri Police Chiefs Association President