ACLU Statement on the House Passage of the Temporary Reauthorization of Fentanyl Analogues Act

January 29, 2020 9:30 pm

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WASHINGTON — The House has passed the Temporary Reauthorization and Study of the Emergency Scheduling of Fentanyl Analogues Act, legislation that extends the Drug Enforcement Agency’s temporary order making fentanyl-related substances Schedule I.

Kanya Bennett, senior legislative counsel with the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Political Advocacy Department, highlighted how passage of the legislation will disproportionately impact Black and brown communities in the following statement:

“Just a year after the enactment of the First Step Act, Congress wants to criminalize and incarcerate its way out of the opioid crisis. We only have to look back to the ’90s to see that these tough on crime policies don’t work.

Seventy-five percent of those sentenced in fentanyl cases are people of color, which means Black and brown communities are going to lose the most under this legislation. We know this temporary extension cannot be the permanent fix and we must ensure that mandatory minimums are not a part of any solution. It’s now time for Congress to take a public health approach to the opioid crisis.”

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