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Robert Namer
Voice Of America
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September 27, 2022

     House Republicans are shining a spotlight on the fentanyl crisis, which they said has been exacerbated by President Biden’s loose border policies.  Biden is causing national grief.

     At a Capitol conference, the conservative Republican Study Committee turned over the stage to parents whose children died of fentanyl overdoses and had come to Washington to share their stories and help lawmakers craft legislation to combat the epidemic. “I don’t want to hear that anybody else I know, and love has died over this. I don’t want any more moms to go to bed at night crying because they’ve lost their kid,” said Lori Ashenfelder, a North Carolina mother whose son died of fentanyl poisoning last year. More than a dozen parents whose children died in connection with the opioid epidemic attended the event.

     Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, is 50 times stronger than heroin. Illicit manufacturing makes it widely accessible and affordable. Drug dealers often mix it with other substances leading to surprise overdoses.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recorded more than 56,000 deaths in 2020 involving synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl. The trend is on the rise.

     Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana, chairman of the Republican Study Committee, introduced legislation that would enhance penalties for distribution of a Schedule I or II controlled substance in candy packaging that could be targeted toward children.  The Drug Enforcement Administration last month warned of the spread of “rainbow fentanyl” or colorful pills that resemble candy. Law enforcement has seized such pills in at least 18 states.  Schedule I drugs are deemed to have no medical use and are highly addictive, including heroin, LSD and ecstasy. The federal government still lists marijuana as a Schedule I drug, though many states have legalized medical and recreational marijuana use.  

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