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Attorney General Morrisey Joins Multistate Bipartisan Letter Urging Congress to Pass Combating Illicit Xylazine Act

May 22nd, 2023 by WCBC Radio

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey on Thursday joined a bipartisan coalition of 39 attorneys general in urging the U.S. Senate and House to pass S. 993 and H.R. 1839—the Combating Illicit Xylazine Act.

The legislation seeks to curb the proliferation of xylazine by scheduling it as a controlled substance.

Xylazine, which commonly known by its street name “Tranq” or “zombie drug,” is a powerful sedative that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved for veterinary use (horse tranquilizer), according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Xylazine is making the nation’s opioid epidemic worse, making it harder for overdose victims to be revived—the drug is not an opioid so naloxone or Narcan will not reverse its effects.

“We are already dealing with fentanyl and now we have this drug to aggravate an already dire situation,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “Our lawmakers need to step up and curb this problem before it becomes another death sentence for millions of Americans.”

The DEA recently issued a Public Safety Alert on xylazine. According to the agency, “approximately 23% of fentanyl powder and 7% of fentanyl pills seized by the DEA contained xylazine.”

Federal officials have reported encountering a rise in xylazine in connection with fentanyl being trafficked from Mexico by the Sinaloa and Jalisco cartels using chemicals sourced from China.

“We are at the front lines of the fentanyl crisis, which starts with ingredients made in China sent to Mexican drug cartels to be made into finished fentanyl and shipped across the border in alarming rates, where it touches every corner of our country,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “We all know fentanyl is 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine. Imagine how much more death that would cause laced with xylazine.”

Attorney General Morrisey joined in the letter with attorneys general from Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.