H.R. 467 would automatically and permanently place all fentanyl-related substances (FRS, compounds that are structurally related to fentanyl) in Schedule I under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), without any additional administrative action from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) or the Food and Drug Administration. Schedule I drugs have a high potential for abuse and no medical use. Currently, only some FRS are listed individually in Schedule I; all other FRS have been placed there temporarily since 2018 and are scheduled for removal on December 31, 2024. Fentanyl, which would not be affected by this bill, would remain a Schedule II drug.
Under current law, certain drugs that are not explicitly designated as controlled substances can be subject to CSA requirements. To proceed with criminal cases, however, prosecutors must prove that such drugs meet specific criteria related to chemical structure and psychoactive effects. By placing all FRS in Schedule I, H.R. 467 would lower the burden of proof in certain cases, thus increasing the likelihood of conviction.
The bill also would change DEA registration requirements for researchers who handle Schedule I or II substances. Finally, H.R. 467 would require the Department of Justice to issue rules for implementing the bill.