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What it does 

HR 1781, the Comprehensive Fentanyl Control Act, specifically focuses on regulating fentanyl, a highly toxic, synthetic opioid drug. The bill would impose penalties for manufacturing, distributing, dispensing, or possessing as little as 0.5 grams of substances containing fentanyl, using the provisions of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 801 et seq.). In addition, in the event of sentencing an individual found to have fentanyl drugs, the bill directs courts to:

  • Not impose a term of probation; and
  • Impose a minimum, additional prison term of up to 5 years that is exclusive to this crime (i.e., a person must serve 5 years in prison in addition to any other prison time they may have received.)

More broadly, the bill gives the Department of Justice the power to issue a temporary order calling a substance a synthetic opioid so long as that drug meets the criteria for being a synthetic opioid but is not currently regulated elsewhere in law as such. The bill would also make it illegal to mail any tableting machine, encapsulating machine, or controlled substance counterfeiting material via the United States Postal Service.

Finally, the bill would make any shipment, manufacture, or distribution of synthetic opioids illegal unless the product containing the synthetic opioids bears a clear identifying label with nomenclature used by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC).

Status 

HR 1781 was introduced in the House on March 29, 2017, where it was referred to the following committees and their appropriate subcommittees:

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