U.S. House Vote TOMORROW:

Oppose Harsh Drug Penalties


The U.S. House will vote on the HALT Fentanyl Act tomorrow. This misguided bill would ramp up harsh mandatory minimum sentences for fentanyl analogues. And it would permanently make all fentanyl-related substances Schedule I without first testing them for benefits or harm. 

Criminalization has failed to keep us safer. Instead, it’s actually fueling the tragic overdose crisis. Increasing penalties will only make things worse. 

Saving lives requires a health approach, not more punishment. This bill is a step in the wrong direction. Help us to oppose it: tell your Representative to vote against the HALT Fentanyl Act right now.

We expect this vote to be close so it’s vital for constituents like you to also make quick calls now through tomorrow. Call (202) 224-3121 to get connected directly to your Representative’s office. And you can say:  

I’m calling to urge my Representative to vote NO on the HALT Fentanyl Act (H.R. 467) when it goes to the House floor next week. Increasing criminal penalties for fentanyl-related substances is not the answer to the overdose crisis. Instead, it will make things worse. Harsher penalties will only result in even more potent substances entering the drug supply, increasing risk of overdose and other harms. To save lives, we need a health approach to fentanyl not harsher punishment. For these reasons, I hope you will oppose the HALT Fentanyl Act. Thank you. 

Here’s some more information that might be helpful for making your call: 

  • More criminalization has led to the overdose crisis and continues to make drugs stronger and more available. For over 50 years, the U.S. has been criminalizing people for using drugs. Yet tragic overdose deaths continue to rise. Criminalization led to this crisis – crackdowns on prescription opioids and heroin incentivized the flow of fentanyl into the illicit drug supply, which is now the leading driver of overdose deaths. Harsher penalties will only result in even more potent substances entering the drug supply, increasing risk of overdose and other harms.  
  • People will be punished regardless of science and evidence. Many of the substances this bill would criminalize have never been researched or tested to determine potential harm. In fact, of the few fentanyl-related substances the FDA did test, at least one showed properties similar to the overdose-reversing medication naloxone. And others were found to be completely harmless.
  • People of color are already being disproportionately targeted, sentenced, and incarcerated for federal fentanyl analogue crimes. This bill would repeat the mistakes of the past just like what happened in the 1980s when fear, misinformation, and racism fueled harsh penalties for crack cocaine. It will deepen racial disparities in the criminal legal system and have the same harmful result with Black, Latinx, and Indigenous people bearing the brunt of punishment.  

With your support, we’re doing everything we can to stop this bill from moving forward in Congress. So please make your voice heard and stand by for an update on how you can help fight back tomorrow.

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