U.S. Representative Kathleen Rice from Long Island has reintroduced a bill that would help stop illegal manufacturing of the synthetic opioid fentanyl. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the lab-made drug contributed to a 30% spike in overdose deaths last year.
Rice said illicit drug makers are able to skirt the law by altering a single molecule of an illegal substance. It creates a new version of a drug that has not yet been outlawed.
Her bill would allow for a temporary ban of an altered drug, pending more time-consuming testing, research and analysis.
She said the proposal also helps law enforcement respond more rapidly to the fast-paced modification of synthetic drugs.