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President’s Commission Says Federal Legislation & Presidential Directive Needed To Stop Flow of Deadly Drugs Through Global Postal System

Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, the President’s Commission on Drug Addiction and Opioid Abuse released its interim report recommending ways to stem the flow and abuse of deadly opioids in the United States. The commission called for better resources to help federal law enforcement detect fentanyl in international mail processing centers and issued support for federal legislation aimed at stopping deadly drugs from coming through the global postal system into communities across the country. 

The full report can be found here – with relevant sections below:

“Support federal legislation to staunch the flow of deadly synthetic opioids through the U.S. Postal Service (USPS)….

“We are miserably losing this fight to prevent fentanyl from entering our country and killing our citizens. We are losing this fight predominately through China. This must become a top tier diplomatic issue with the Chinese; American lives are at stake and it threatens our national security. Our inability to reliably detect fentanyl at our land borders and at our international mail handling facilities creates untenable vulnerabilities. Key federal agencies, including the DEA, DHS, FBI, and DOJ, should coordinate pursuant to the Controlled Substances Act to intercept fentanyl (and other synthetic opioids) in envelopes and packages at mail processing distribution centers, and increase detection efforts using enhanced technology, more manpower, and expanded canine deployment. Only a presidential directive will give this issue the top level attention it deserves from DOJ, DHS, and USPS.”

ASAP senior advisors Governor Tom Ridge and Juliette Kayyem issued the following statements following the release of the interim report:

“No strategy to address the opioid epidemic will work without a serious approach to the illegal supply chain that allows these drugs to enter the U.S. in the first place,” said Governor Tom Ridge, senior advisor to ASAP. “I’m pleased to see the president’s commission call for federal action to close the global postal security gap and provide law enforcement with the tools they need to stop these lethal drugs before they cross our borders.”

“Too many lives have been taken because of the dangerous loophole in the global postal system,” said Juliette Kayyem, senior advisor to ASAP. “This interim report is a step in the right direction to make our borders more secure and address some of the root causes fueling the epidemic.”

The STOP Act is a bipartisan bill seeking to close a dangerous loophole in our global postal system by requiring all packages shipped from foreign posts to include advance electronic security data, which law enforcement officials can use to screen and stop dangerous packages before they enter the country. The bill has 22 co-sponsors in the Senate and 222 in the House of Representatives and has been endorsed by many organizations including the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) and the American Medical Association (AMA).