Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Joe
Manchin (D-WV) introduced the bipartisan, bicameral Combating Illicit
Xylazine Act to take action against a dangerous drug causing overdoses in
West Virginia and across the country. Xylazine, also known as “tranq,” is an
easily accessible veterinary tranquilizer that leads to depressed breathing and
heart rate, unconsciousness, necrosis and even death.
“In the last year, more than 106,000
Americans and 1,400 West Virginians died from drug related overdoses,” Senator Manchin said. “It’s
heartbreaking to lose so many of our fellow Americans and West Virginians to
this devastating epidemic, and Congress must take meaningful action to address
the crisis, which includes the surging threat of the highly dangerous xylazine
drug. I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan, bicameral legislation to ensure
our law enforcement agencies have the tools they need to monitor and control
the spread of illicit xylazine, while ensuring its continued access for veterinary
medicine. I encourage my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this
commonsense reform to combat the drug epidemic that continues to ravage our
xylazine, federal, state, and local law enforcement do not have the tools
necessary to effectively monitor its spread or combat its growing presence in
drug trafficking circles.
Illicit Xylazine Act would address these gaps by:
- Classifying its illicit use under Schedule III
of the Controlled Substances Act;
- Enabling the DEA to track its manufacturing to
ensure it is not diverted to the illicit market;
- Requiring a report on prevalence, risks, and
recommendations to best regulate illicit use of xylazine;
- Ensuring all salts and isomers of xylazine are
covered when restricting its illicit use;
- Declaring xylazine an emerging drug threat.
Xylazine is essential in veterinary medicine
with large animals, and while this legislation will help law enforcement crack
down on its illicit use, it will also protect medicinal access for
veterinarians, farmers, cattlemen and ranchers.
Senator Manchin was joined by Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Maggie Hassan
(D-NH), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Jim Risch (R-ID), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV.)
and Roger Marshall (R-KS) and Representatives Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), August
Pfluger (R-TX), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Ken Buck (R-CO) and Chris Pappas (D-NH).
text of the bill is available here.