Author Archives: Emily Walden

SOFA Act

WRITE YOUR CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVE TODAY!

IMPLORE HIM OR HER TO SUPPORT THE SOFA ACT (H.R. 2935).  THE SOFA ACT AMENDS THE CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES ACT TO ADD ILLICIT FENTANYL ANALOGS TO SCHEDULE I.

THIS LEGISLATION IS A MUST IN THE FIGHT AGAINST FENTANYL ANALOG OVERDOSE DEATHS.

POINT OUT THAT CHINESE CHEMICAL MANUFACTURERS SWITCHED FROM MAKING FENTANYL TO MAKING MULTIPLE FENTANYL ANALOGS BECAUSE INTRODUCING MULTIPLE FENTANYL ANALOGS MADE IT EASIER TO GET AROUND THE U.S. LAWS.

POINT OUT THAT WHEN THE DEA ENACTED REGULATIONS PLACING FENTANYL ANALOGS IN CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES SCHEDULE I, THE RATE OF INTRODUCTION OF NEW FENTANYL ANALOGS INTO THE UNITED STATES DROPPED DRAMATICALLY.

POINT OUT THAT THE US HAS BEEN ABLE TO PERSUADE CHINA TO MOVE FENTANYL ANALOGS INTO THEIR EQUIVALENT OF SCHEDULE I, AND WE MUST DO THE SAME IN THE U.S.!

POINT OUT THAT ALL 50 STATE ATTORNEYS GENERAL AS WELL AS THE ATTORNEYS GENERAL OF WASHINGTON, D.C. AND PUERTO RICO UNANIMOUSLY SENT A LETTER TO CONGRESS REQUESTING PASSAGE OF THE SOFA ACT.

POINT OUT THAT THE TEMPORARY PLACEMENT OF FENTANYL ANALOGS IN SCHEDULE I WILL EXPIRE FEBRUARY 6TH UNLESS THE SOFA ACT IS PASSED BEFORE THEN.

Background:

The SOFA Act amends the Controlled Substances Act to add illicit fentanyl analogs to Schedule I.

Schedule I controlled substances have a high potential for abuse and no currently accepted medical value.  They are subject to strict regulatory controls and penalties under the Controlled Substances Act.

              Fentanyl analogs are a group of drugs that share the fentanyl backbone and act at the same receptors as fentanyl. They have minor surface tweaks which make them legally distinct compounds. Federal officials attempting to fight the opioid epidemic were faced with having to go through a lengthy process to get each legally distinct analog moved into Schedule I, and during the lengthy process, new fentanyl analogs were being introduced. 

In February 2018, the Drug Enforcement Administration invoked emergency powers to temporarily move all illicit fentanyl analogs into Schedule I.  The result of this action was that the pipeline of new fentanyl analogs shut down.

But this ban expires February 6th, and we may expect a rapid resumption of widespread distribution of fentanyl analogs shortly after the expiration. 

The SOFA Act was designed to amend the Controlled Substances Act to permanently add illicit fentanyl analogs to Schedule I.

At this point, the only major resistance to the SOFA Act is coming from civil liberties groups.  They argue that drug use and addiction are primarily public-health matters that need treatment rather than criminal sanctions.  They argue that passage of the SOFA Act would grant the DEA the power to impose harsh mandatory minimum sentences for possession of an analog.

We obviously agree that drug abuse and addiction need treatment, not harsh criminal penalties. But the SOFA Act is aimed at those who are distributing death throughout our country, not at the individual suffering from a substance use disorder.  And it is simply wrong-headed to prevent law enforcement from using the SOFA act to pursue those who are selling deadly fentanyl analogs to men and women suffering from opioid use disorder.

In 2017, 40% of opioid overdose deaths in Florida were due to fentanyl analogs.  We need to do whatever can be done to stop fentanyl analog death.

We need the SOFA Act.

STOPPING OVERDOSES of FENTANYL ANALOGUES (SOFA) ACT

This bill amends the Controlled Substances Act to add certain fentanyl analogues to schedule I. A schedule I controlled substance is a drug, substance, or chemical that: has a high potential for abuse; has no currently accepted medical value; and is subject to regulatory controls and administrative, civil, and criminal penalties under the Controlled Substances Act. Please, contact your senator and congressperson, and implore them to support the SOFA Act, and why they must pass the legislation ASAP!!