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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: September 22, 2023 10:26 AM
From: Representative Doyle Heffley
To: All House members
Subject: Permanently Scheduling Nitazene Compounds
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation to permanently schedule Nitazene compounds as Schedule I controlled substances in our Commonwealth.

On June 3, 2023, the Acting Secretary of Health issued a final order temporarily scheduling Nitazene compounds as controlled substances to avoid an imminent hazard to public safety. Under the provisions of the Controlled Substance, Drug, Device, and Cosmetic Act, the temporary scheduling of these substances may only last for one year unless the Acting Secretary seeks an extension which is statutorily capped at one additional year. In addition, in December 2021, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) scheduled Nitazene compounds as Schedule I controlled substances.
My legislation will permanently schedule the Nitzene compounds Butonitazene, etodesnitazene, flunitazene, metodesnitazene, metonitazene, Npyrrolidino etonitazene, and protonitazene.  These substances are synthetic opioids identified on the illicit drug market in the United States that are similar or stronger than fentanyl.

The DEA noted that many of these substances are receptor agonists that have a high potential for abuse and addiction and can induce dose-dependent respiratory depression.  In addition, these substances have been identified in toxicology cases.  The DEA determined that because these substances (1) have high potential for abuse; (2) have no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States; (3) lack accepted safety for use under medical supervision; and (4) have been responsible for numerous deaths, it was, therefore, necessary to schedule these substances into Schedule I of the federal Controlled Substances Act to avoid an imminent and continued hazard to the public safety.
With the increasing prevalence of these substances, we must protect the health and safety of the citizens of this Commonwealth. 

Please join me in co-sponsoring this important piece of legislation.

Introduced as HB1695