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Attorney General Josh Stein Urges Congress to Close Deadly Fentanyl Loophole

Release date: 8/23/2018

(RALEIGH) – Attorney General Josh Stein today called on Congress today to help end the opioid epidemic and close a loophole that allows those who traffic deadly fentanyl to stay a step ahead of law enforcement.

“The rate of death from opioid overdose is climbing in large part due to fentanyl and its analogues,” said Attorney General Stein. “Law enforcement officers must have every tool at their disposal to fight the trafficking of this deadly drug. We have to get ahead of designer drug traffickers to stop them.”

Attorney General Stein wrote Congress in support of S. 1553 and H.R. 4922, Stopping Overdoses of Fentanyl Analogues (SOFA) Act. Fentanyl is currently a Schedule II controlled substance and when used as prescribed by a doctor, can be a safe painkiller. However outside of careful supervision, fentanyl and analogues manufactured illicitly can be lethal.

The SOFA Act, if passed by the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives, would eliminate the current loophole which keeps the controlled substance scheduling system one step behind those who manufacture fentanyl analogue and then introduce these powders into the opioid supply. The SOFA Act utilizes catch-all language which will allow the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to proactively schedule all newly-modified fentanyl analogues.

This type of law would serve as a federal counterpart to the Synthetic Opioid Control Act of 2017, which Attorney General Josh Stein and allied law enforcement organizations championed successfully in North Carolina.

In addition to North Carolina, Connecticut and Wisconsin, the other attorneys general who signed the letter were Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

You can read the letter here.

Laura Brewer (919) 716-6484


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