Buchanan sponsors FIGHT Fentanyl Act

U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL) on May 17 sponsored a bipartisan bill that would list fentanyl-related substances as schedule I controlled substances under existing federal law, which regulates how drugs may be used, produced and sold in the United States.

“The number of overdose deaths across the country annually due to illegal fentanyl-related substances is tragic and alarming,” Rep. Buchanan said. “These illegal drugs are destroying lives and families not only in our backyard here in Southwest Florida, but across the country. It’s clear we need to do much more to address this growing epidemic.”

Substances listed under schedule I — which include heroin, LSD, marijuana, peyote, and meth — have a high potential for abuse that may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Rep. Buchanan’s bill, the Federal Initiative to Guarantee Health by Targeting (FIGHT) Fentanyl Act, H.R. 3269, would make permanent the current, albeit temporary, classification of fentanyl-related substances as schedule I drugs since they meet federal criteria, such as not being an approved medication in the United States. 

“This bill is one more tool for law enforcement to use to fight back against the illegal fentanyl producers, smugglers and dealers who are directly responsible for the deaths of so many Americans and reduce the amount of illegal fentanyl on our streets,” said Rep. Buchanan. 

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody; Melissa Larkin Skinner, regional chief executive officer of Centerstone; and Tom Knight, president and chief executive officer of First Step, endorsed H.R. 3269, which is a companion bill to the same-named S. 339 introduced on Feb. 22 by U.S. Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Joe Manchin (D-WV).