Senator Marshall Releases Statement on DEA’s National Drug Threat Assessment

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-KS) issued a statement following the release of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) 2024 National Drug Threat Assessment, which details fentanyl as the deadliest drug threat the United States has ever faced, killing nearly 38,000 Americans in the first six months of 2023 alone. The report also shows states with the largest Mexican cartel presence across the country; Kansas is among those with a significant footprint. 

“The DEA’s 2024 National Drug Threat Assessment only confirms what we have been saying – there is an alarming increase in the presence of illicit drugs in the United States,” Senator Marshall said. “Unfortunately, with the cartels in control at the southern border and a President who refuses to do anything to curb the record amounts of fentanyl coming through it, we will continue to see an uptick in fentanyl poisoning across America. Already, over 300 Americans die every day of fentanyl poisoning. Enough is enough.”

“As President Biden sits back and lets our adversaries exploit our open border, the safety and security of America is my number one priority,” Senator Marshall continued. “Now is the time to pass legislation that would crack down on illicit drugs such as fentanyl and methamphetamine, and ‘halt the deadly drug crisis the United States has ever faced.’” 

Senator Marshall is leading and cosponsoring several bills that bolster federal agency efforts – including the DEA – to stop this growing crisis: 

  • Cooper Davis Act (S. 1080): Would require Big Tech companies to take a more proactive role against drug dealers preying on America’s youth on social media by requiring the DEA to establish a standardized framework that would improve collaboration with federal, state, and local enforcement. The bill passed the Judiciary Committee in July 2023 and was touted by the Snap, Inc. CEO during a hearing in January.
  • Halt All Lethal Trafficking (HALT) of Fentanyl Act (S. 1141): Would make the temporary class-wide scheduling order for fentanyl-related substances permanent. This scheduling, which Congress has extended since 2018, would give law enforcement the tools to help combat the fentanyl crisis currently wreaking havoc in Kansas. The bill would also ensure practitioners can research fentanyl-related substances to better understand its overall effects on people’s health.
  • Combating Illicit Xylazine Act (S. 993): Would crackdown on the highly dangerous veterinary sedative, xylazine, causing fatal overdoses nationwide. Currently mixed with fentanyl, the bill would classify the drug as a Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act and enable the DEA to track its manufacturing to ensure it is not diverted to the illicit market.
  • Stop Fentanyl Border Crossings Act (S. 1192): Would authorize the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to restrict migration and imports from foreign countries to prevent the introduction of illicit drugs into the country.
  • Drug Cartel Terrorist Designation Act (S. 698): Would formally designate the following cartels as Foreign Terrorist Organizations: Reynosa/Los Metros faction of the Gulf Cartel, The Cartel Del Noreste faction of Los Zetas, The Jalisco New Generation Cartel, and The Sinaloa Cartel.
  • Felony Murder for Deadly Fentanyl Distribution Act (S. 380): Would make distributors of fentanyl eligible for felony murder when the individual knows, or has reason to know, that the product being sold contains a certain amount of fentanyl and when it kills the user.
  • Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act (S. 2669): Criminal organizations use unregulated markets to launder money, including cryptocurrency. This bipartisan bill would apply similar standards in banking to cryptocurrency including “know-your-customer” and other Bank Secrecy Act requirements.