PRIORITIES: While Dems Push For Impeachment, America’s Fentanyl Laws Are Lapsing

Written by Wes Walker on January 30, 2020

Despite the national crisis, as of next week, cops won’t be able to arrest fentanyl dealers. And you can thank Congress for that.

One of Trump’s 2016 priority issues was dealing with the scourage of drug overdose deaths.

Here’s a 2019 article showing the trend line up until 2016:

A new study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows how the opioid epidemic has ballooned over the past six years. The report found that from 2011 to 2016, the number of overdose deaths from the synthetic opiate fentanyl has risen by over 1000 percent.

The CDC says that in 2011 and 2012, around 1,600 people died each year from a fentanyl overdose. The number of deaths rose to 1,900 in 2013, but in 2014 officials saw the number of fatalities jump to 4,223. In 2015 the number of deaths nearly doubled to 8,251, and in 2016 there were another 10,000 deadly overdoses, bringing the total to 18,335 for the year.
Source: Iheartradio

That’s just fentanyl. Opioids more generally led to even more deaths.

The 63,632 drug overdose deaths in the United States in 2016 represented a 21.4% increase from 2015; two thirds of these deaths involved an opioid (1). From 2015 to 2016, drug overdose deaths increased in all drug categories examined; the largest increase occurred among deaths involving synthetic opioids other than methadone (synthetic opioids), which includes illicitly manufactured fentanyl (IMF)
Source: NCBI

So Trump had his DOJ prioritize busting up drug rings. And one of the border wall objectives was to break up the smuggling routes. He even got China to change their domestic policies toward the traffickers sending so many pills to our side of the Pacific.

Trump is actively trying to stem the tide and save some US lives. Those were the areas Trump can take direct action. But Congress has its own sphere of responsibility. How have THEY been prioritizing this problem?

Considering the weeping and pearl-clutching you hear over gun deaths, you’d think that Democrats would be on board, right? After all, what was it Obama said as he brushed that tear from his eye? ‘If it saves one life,’ wasn’t it?

Here’s an excerpt from what U.S. Drug Czar Jim Carroll wrote:

Here at home, in February 2018, the Justice Department placed all fentanyl-related substances under control as Schedule I drugs on a temporary, emergency basis, which by law will expire on February 6, 2020. If both houses of Congress fail to pass legislation in the coming days, these dangerous fentanyl analogues that have ruined so many lives and caused so many American deaths will be released from their current regulatory control. This would be a significant obstacle to law enforcement’s ability to prevent the purchase, shipment, sale, or possession of these often-fatal drugs.

The fentanyl class-scheduling action that the Chinese government took in May 2019 is the same one the U.S. took on a temporary emergency basis in February 2018. Throughout 2019, the Trump administration worked with Congress and across the federal government to craft a legislative solution to make this temporary class scheduling of fentanyl permanent. The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, along with the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services, worked to reconcile two important aspects of the issue: controlling substances being brought into the country before they can kill Americans, while at the same time ensuring our researchers have access to these substances to determine if any have medical merit, including perhaps even the potential to help address the opioid crisis.

The Senate recently passed the bipartisan Temporary Reauthorization and Study of the Emergency Scheduling of Fentanyl Analogues Act, which extends the scheduling order for 15 months. If the House does not act now, the Chinese government will have more regulatory and legal control over these substances than the U.S. We cannot let this happen. Further, as drug trafficking networks relocate to other countries in response to stronger regulations in China, our ability to hold other nations accountable where illicit fentanyl producers operate will be significantly diminished unless we permanently schedule these drugs. It would badly undermine our ability to save American lives.

As the director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, I believe it is imperative that the House act now to pass the Senate-approved bill and prevent a vital regulatory action from lapsing, letting known dangerous substances loose on our communities once again. Through Trump’s strong leadership and visionary diplomacy, we worked with the Chinese government to implement a permanent solution in China. It is time for the House of Representatives to enact the Senate-passed bill and then continue working with the Senate on a permanent fix.
Source: Washington Examiner