Late last night, the final text for the Congressional opioid package was released. SITSA – a sweeping bill expanding penalties on synthetic drugs and the broader war on drugs – passed the House in July, and was expected to be included in the final bill. But a coalition of drug policy and criminal justice reform groups managed to push back against its inclusion, successfully keeping it out of the bill.
Here is a statement from Michael Collins, interim director at Drug Policy Alliance’s Office of National Affairs:
“This is a huge win for public health over outdated drug war approaches. The bill would have expanded mass incarceration, while worsening the overdose crisis. It would have given Jeff Sessions unprecedented powers to schedule drugs and set draconian new criminal penalties. To pull this back from the brink after it easily passed the House only two months ago is a tremendous victory.”