Companies based in China, India, and other foreign countries take advantages of weaknesses in international mail security standards to break U.S. customs laws and regulations by shipping drugs directly through the U.S. postal system
The bipartisan Synthetics Trafficking & Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act will help close this loophole and stop dangerous synthetic drugs like fentanyl and carfentanil from being shipped through our borders to drug traffickers in the U.S.
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar and a bipartisan group of senators have introduced legislation to address the overdose spike from synthetic opioids. Companies based in China, India, and other foreign countries take advantages of weaknesses in international mail security standards to break U.S. customs laws and regulations by shipping drugs directly through the U.S. postal system. The bipartisan Synthetics Trafficking & Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act will help close this loophole and stop dangerous synthetic drugs like fentanyl and carfentanil from being shipped through our borders to drug traffickers in the U.S.
“Dangerous synthetic drugs that find their way into our communities from overseas through the postal system continue to claim the lives of teenagers and adults in Minnesota and across the country,” Klobuchar said. “In the face of these tragedies, we need to step up efforts to stop these synthetic drugs from coming across our borders from foreign countries in the first place. Our new bipartisan legislation will give law enforcement the tools they need to help curb the trafficking of synthetic drugs and keep them out of the hands of our children.”
Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) are also original cosponsors of the STOP Act. Representatives Pat Tiberi (R-OH) and Richard Neal (D-MA) have introduced bipartisan companion legislation in the House.
The STOP Act would require shipments from foreign countries through our postal system to provide electronic advance data—such as who and where it is coming from, who it is going to, and what is in it—before they cross our borders and enter the U.S. Having this information in advance will enable Customs and Border Protection to better target potential illegal packages and keep these dangerous drugs from ending up in the hands of drug traffickers who want to harm our local communities.
As a former Hennepin County Attorney, Klobuchar has long led local and national efforts to curb drug abuse and help people overcome addiction. Last month, Klobuchar and Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), John Cornyn (R-TX), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Mark Warner (D-VA) introduced the bipartisan Synthetic and Labeling of Toxic Substances (SALTS) Act. The SALTS Act would make it easier to prosecute the sale of “analogue” drugs, which are synthetic substances that are substantially similar to illegal drugs. Klobuchar was also one of four senators, along with Senators Whitehouse, Portman, and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), to lead the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA). This bipartisan bill, which was signed into law last July, encourages states and local communities to pursue a full array of proven strategies in the fight against opioid addiction. At the end of 2016, $1 billion was made available by Congress to fund the national effort. To build on the monumental first step of CARA, Klobuchar introduced the Prescription Drug Monitoring Act, which would require the use of prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) in all states that receive certain federal funding to combat opioid abuse and also requires states to make their PDMP data available to other states. In addition, Klobuchar and Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) introduced the Budgeting for Opioid Addiction Treatment (LifeBOAT) Act, which would establish a permanent funding stream to provide and expand access to substance abuse treatment. In September 2014, the DEA implemented Klobuchar’s bipartisan Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act. Under the legislation, consumers are provided with more safe and responsible ways to dispose of unused prescription medications and controlled substances.