Attorney General Hector Balderas
ALBUQUERQUE ― Attorney General Hector Balderas, as part of a bipartisan group of 52 state and territory attorneys general, has called on Congress to help end the opioid epidemic and close a loophole that allows those who traffic deadly fentanyl to stay a step ahead of law enforcement.
“Giant, out-of-state companies, and their billionaire companies are being allowed to make a fortune off of the overdose deaths of thousands of New Mexicans,” Balderas said. “Congress needs to do its job, and put New Mexicans’ lives before the profits of drug corporations.”
The attorneys general today sent a letter to Congress in support of S. 1553 and H.R. 4922, Stopping Overdoses of Fentanyl Analogues (SOFA) Act. Fentanyl is currently a Schedule II controlled substance and when used as prescribed by a doctor, can be a safe painkiller. However outside of careful supervision, fentanyl and analogues manufactured illicitly can be lethal.
The SOFA Act, if passed by the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives, would eliminate the current loophole which keeps the controlled substance scheduling system one step behind those who manufacture fentanyl analogue and then introduce these powders into the opioid supply. The SOFA Act utilizes catch-all language which will allow the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to proactively schedule all newly-modified fentanyl analogues.
Joining AG Balderas are the Attorneys General from Connecticut and Wisconsin, the other attorneys general who signed the letter were Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming.