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Attorney General Bird joined 22 states in a letter to U.S. Senate leadership today, urging passage of the HALT Fentanyl Act. The bill reclassifies fentanyl analogues as Schedule I drugs, making it a crime to sell or distribute them. It also equips law enforcement to crack down on the ongoing drug crisis, which killed more than 100,000 Americans last year. 

Fentanyl analogues are lab-created copycats that chemically resemble fentanyl but are modified to get around U.S. law. Those alterations make it difficult for law enforcement to keep up with fentanyl-related crimes and hinders their ability to prosecute the sale and use of those deadly drugs. 

In 2022, fentanyl and fentanyl analogues caused approximately 66% of drug overdose deaths. Fentanyl analogues are often more potent than fentanyl itself, and they can easily be mixed with other drugs without the user’s knowledge. 

“The fentanyl crisis is a national emergency,” said Attorney General Bird. “It impacts every corner of our state and country, sneaking its way into our homes, schools, and workplaces. Criminalizing fentanyl analogues will give law enforcement the tools they need to fight the deadly fentanyl epidemic, crack down on drug dealers, and save lives.” 

The Drug Enforcement Administration temporarily classified fentanyl analogues as Schedule I drugs in 2018. That classification is set to expire in 2024. Passage of the HALT Fentanyl Act will reclassify fentanyl analogues as Schedule I drugs. 

Iowa joined 22 states in the Florida and Virginia-led letter. 

Read the full letter here. 

Author: Press Release


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