State Legislators Across the Country Urge Congress to Pass STOP Act
National Conference of State Legislatures Calls Lack of Advance Electronic Data in International Mail a “Threat to Our National Security”
Washington, D.C. – The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), a bipartisan organization representing legislators from the states, commonwealths and territories of the U.S., has issued a letter to congressional leadership calling for the swift passage of the bipartisan and bicameral Synthetics Trafficking and Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act. The bill aims to close a loophole in the global postal system that has created a pipeline for deadly synthetic drugs to enter the U.S. from abroad, helping fuel the nationwide opioid epidemic.
“The effect of these imported illegal drugs on state resources is daunting and greatly hinders states’ ability to combat the opioid crisis and the use of other illegal substances entering the U.S. State legislators from across the nation,” write NCSL representatives State Senator Wayne Harper (UT-R), State Representative Brian Patrick Kennedy (RI-D) and State Senator Gerald Malloy (SC-D). “State legislators call upon Congress to act quickly to stem the continued growth and operation of these criminals by passing the STOP Act.”
The STOP Act is a bipartisan bill that would close the postal loophole by requiring all packages shipped via 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. Currently over one million packages enter the country each day without this vital security information. While private carriers must, by law, provide this data to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), packages shipped by foreign postal services and delivered by the United States Postal Service are exempt from this requirement. This loophole provides an accessible pipeline for criminals to send synthetic opioids, drugs, counterfeit pharmaceuticals and other illicit items into the country undetected.
Following the release of the letter, Juliette Kayyem, senior advisor to Americans for Securing All Packages, issued the following statement:
“We are pleased to see the National Conference of State Legislatures agrees on the urgency of passing the STOP Act. This is a commonsense, bipartisan solution that would help close the drug pipeline threatening our communities and fueling the opioid epidemic. Our state officials have seen the devastation that foreign opioids have brought to too many American families and the tremendous burden they place on our first responders. It is my hope that congressional leadership will hear this call and take swift action to close the loophole.”
The full letter from the National Conference of State Legislatures can be found here. NCSL joins the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) and the American Medical Association (AMA) in endorsing the STOP Act, which currently has 30 co-sponsors in the Senate and 252 in the House of Representatives.