Michigan official calls for Fentanyl to remain schedule I drug

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FILE – In this June 6, 2017 file photo, an example of the amount of fentanyl that can be deadly after a news conference about deaths from fentanyl exposure, at DEA Headquarters in Arlington Va. The Justice Department’s inspector general says the Drug Enforcement Administration was “slow to respond” as America grappled with a rising opioid epidemic. The watchdog released a report Tuesday examining the agency’s regulatory and enforcement efforts to control opioids. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel along with Attorneys General from each state, territory and D.C. asked Congress to permanently classify fentanyl-related substances as schedule I drugs.

Schedule I drugs are those that are not currently accepted as medical use and they have a high potential for abuse.

In 2017 40% of the 72,000 drug-related deaths involved fentanyl or a fentanyl-related compound, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In their letter, the Attorneys General encourage Congress to pass S.2701, the Federal Initiative to Guarantee Health by Targeting (FIGHT) Fentanyl Act, a bipartisan bill introduced by U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Joe Manchin (D-WV).

The temporary scheduling order has allowed law enforcement to bring charges against individuals who manufacture, distribute or handle fentanyl-related substances.

The scheduling order is set to expire less than two months from now on Feb. 6, 2020. The FIGHT Fentanyl Act codifies DEA precedent to schedule fentanyl-related substances.

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