United States Representative Mike Johnson (LA-04) today introduced the CEASE Overdose Act to permanently classify illicit fentanyl as a Schedule I narcotic under the Controlled Substances Act.
“Fentanyl overdoses recently became the leading cause of death for Americans aged 18-45, claiming more lives per year than car accidents and cancer,” Johnson said. “Federal authorities have a responsibility to attack this problem with much greater resolve.”
“There is no reason why Congress should be required to reauthorize illicit fentanyl’s temporary classification as a Schedule I narcotic multiple times each year. Our law enforcement agencies need more certainty when prosecuting fentanyl-related offenses.”
“This bill is simple,” Johnson continued. “It is past time for Congress to permanently classify illicit fentanyl as an illegal deadly substance under federal law. Doing so will help our law enforcement agencies get control of the crisis that is destroying so many American families and communities. The criminals responsible for this tragedy must be put on notice that we will no longer tolerate their illegal activities.”
“To reverse the fentanyl crisis, we need a full-court press on our streets, at our borders, and abroad—and this bill is a critical step in that effort.”
Drug overdose deaths rose by nearly 40% from 2020 to 2021 in Louisiana. Most of these deaths were caused by illicit fentanyl.
Permanently classifying all illicit fentanyl as a Schedule I narcotic under the Controlled Substances Act would streamline and standardize the process for prosecuting those manufacturing and distributing illicit fentanyl.