Attorney General Ford Calls for Fentanyl to Remain a Schedule I Drug

December 11, 2019

Carson City, NV - Today, Nevada Attorney General Aaron D. Ford joined a bipartisan coalition of all 56 attorneys general calling for Congress to permanently classify fentanyl-related substances as Schedule I drugs. Schedule I drugs are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.

In the letter, the attorneys general urge 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).

"Fentanyl is a dangerous and addictive drug that has devastated Nevada families and many others all around the country," said AG Ford. "In 2017, the CDC found that 40 percent of the 72,000 nationwide drug-related deaths involved fentanyl or related compounds.  This drug must be classified to reflect the danger it poses to our communities."

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued a temporary scheduling order in February 2018 to schedule fentanyl-related substances that has allowed federal law enforcement authorities to bring criminal actions against individuals who manufacture, distribute or handle fentanyl-related substances. This 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, and will ensure law enforcement agencies and courts retain the tools needed to keep those who traffic in this deadly substance off the streets.

Attorneys general from every state, territory and the District of Columbia signed the letter. With the support of every attorney general, the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) has chosen to endorse the legislation as one of its official policy positions. NAAG typically endorses around a dozen policies a year.