44 state AGs call law coun­ter­pro­duc­tive

The Washington Times Daily - - POLITICS - — Tom How­ell Jr.

Nearly every state at­tor­ney gen­eral in the coun­try wants Congress to re­peal a 2016 law that re­port­edly made it “vir­tu­ally im­pos­si­ble” for the Drug En­force­ment Ad­min­is­tra­tion to sus­pend or­ders of nar­cotics that could fall into the hands of cor­rupt doc­tors or il­licit phar­ma­cies.

In a let­ter to con­gres­sional lead­ers, 44 at­tor­neys gen­eral said the law is a “step back­ward” in the fight against the pre­scrip­tion painkiller and opi­oids epi­demic that is killing tens of thou­sands of Amer­i­cans each year.

“The stan­dards set by the law hin­der law en­force­ment’s au­thor­ity to con­trol ex­ces­sive amounts of opi­oids flood­ing the mar­ket. The state and fed­eral gov­ern­ment need to equip our law en­force­ment part­ners with the nec­es­sary tools to go af­ter those re­spon­si­ble for fu­el­ing the epi­demic,” said Ok­la­homa At­tor­ney Gen­eral Mike Hunter, a Repub­li­can who spear­headed the bi­par­ti­san ef­fort.

Their pleas mir­ror en­treaties from law­mak­ers in parts of the coun­try that are reel­ing from the opi­oids epi­demic, in­clud­ing Demo­cratic Sens.

Claire McCaskill of Mis­souri and Joe Manchin III of West Vir­ginia, who face re-elec­tion in red states next year.

Though it breezed through Congress, many law­mak­ers now say they didn’t re­al­ize the law raised the thresh­old for freez­ing opi­oid ship­ments, while al­low­ing com­pa­nies to take cor­rec­tive ac­tion be­fore fac­ing pun­ish­ment for dol­ing out sus­pi­cious or­ders.

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