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Congress is considering expanding the Controlled Substances Act to include synthetic drugs.

To combat the rise in synthetic drugs like fentanyl, the U.S. House of Representatives is considering HR 2851, the Stop Importation and Trafficking of Synthetic Analogues Act (SITSA Act).SITSA Act, H.R. 2851, 115th Cong. (2017). The bill adds the category of “synthetics,” drugs that mirror currently prohibited drugs, to the Controlled Substances Act.SITSA Act, H.R. 2851, 115th Cong. (2017).

Because of the bill’s broad language, however, opponents urged the House Judiciary Committee to reject it, arguing that it would “greatly expand the penalties for drug offenses, add mandatory minimum sentences to the federal code, and give the attorney general unchecked power to schedule drugs and set criminal penalties.”Letter from A New PATH, Alliance of Baptists, ACLU, et al. to House Judiciary Committee in Opposition to H.R. 2851, June 26, 2017, 1.