January 17 – Congressman John Joyce held a round table discussion recently in Washington, DC, in the Energy and Commerce Committee about fentanyl.
The point was to work on making fentanyl and derivatives of fentanyl (called analogs) schedule one narcotics – they would be illegal in the United States.
A few weeks before Christmas, Joyce received an email from Ray and Deb Cullen from Shippensburg about their son, Zachary.
Joyce said, “Zach had been tragically killed – and I use that word very specifically – he was killed by a fentanyl poisoning in Harrisburg just this past summer.”
Their son was a student in college.
Joyce said, “They shared their tragedy of what had occurred with Zach. I sat down with them. I talked with them. I cried with them. I understood the pain. This family wanted to shine a light on the fentanyl analogs, the derivatives of fentanyl that are coming into our district and killing our kids, killing our neighbors, killing our friends.”
The Cullens came to the round table discussion to provide a first-hand account of the effects of fentanyl.
Joyce said, “I was proud to lead that round table. I was proud to be joined by the Cullens, as well as a former DEA agent and an emergency room doctor to discuss how important it is that we take up this scheduling debate and make sure that these poisons are stopped from coming into our country and permanently ban them. No more half measures, like the Democrats want. These drugs are poison and they’re killing so many people in the United States.”
Every two to three weeks, 3,000 people die of fentanyl overdoses in this country.
The Cullens asked the Representatives what they are doing to stop this.
Joyce said, “As Republicans our heads are not in the sand. We want to address this and make fentanyl a schedule one drug. Make it illegal and make the different derivatives, the analogs of it, illegal as well. Realize that China is still making those bi-products, shipping them to Mexico where they are compounded, they’re put into pills that look like hydrocodone or Percocet and they come across our southern border and they come to Pennsylvania’s 13th Congressional District. They come to Franklin County. They come to Fulton County. They come to Cumberland County. They come to Adams County and these drugs are here and it is our responsibility now to step up and treat these drugs like the deadly weapons that they are in our community.”
Michele Jansen of NewsTalk 103.7FM pointed out, “Their son Zachary was not a drug addict. This was not an intentional or accidental overdose. This is a young man who does what so many young people make the bad mistake of doing, using recreational drugs. Now it was an illegal drug that he and his friends obtained, but this is not unusual, sadly. This mindset is not unusual in our country. They just recreationally used a little bit of cocaine. Again, very bad decision. It was laced with fentanyl. It was poisoned with fentanyl and that’s why he died. We have to understand, everybody thinks of drug addicts out on the street, well maybe it’s their own fault with the bad decisions they made. Well there’s a lot to be said for those addicts getting poisoned as well. There’s people like Zachary, whole life ahead of him. What’s the Biden administration doing? Nothing. They’re not talking to China. They’re not stopping them from sending these prerequisite chemicals to Mexico and places where this stuff is manufactured and then we’re leaving the border wide open.”
So what’s next?
Joyce said, “On the Health Subcommittee of Energy and Commerce where I serve, I’m bringing forth legislation to make sure that fentanyl and its analogs, the different derivatives that are brought into our country, are made schedule one narcotics. That piece of legislation has to be forthcoming from Energy and Commerce.”
Jansen pointed out, “We need the Biden administration’s cooperation. We’re not getting it. We don’t know if this president is compromised. We don’t know if he’s using kid gloves with China because of economic reasons, which I think is pretty sick that we’re not holding them accountable for many things, but is he compromised?”
That question is even more glaring in light of the information that came out about the classified documents found in Biden’s home and office.
Jansen continued, “How do we know that this isn’t a personal thing with China and the Biden family? How are we going to find out whether or not we actually have a president that’s not holding China accountable because of his personal wealth and compromised connections to China?”
Joyce said, “I think that’s where oversight is going to come in. This investigation is going to occur. The Biden administration has no moral ground to stand on because of their reckless observation with what’s occurring with classified documents in a garage. Who had access to this? We know his son had access to this. We know that Biden does not stand for what’s best for America. They want to tell every American what kind of car you should drive. They want to tell you what kind of stove is best to have in your kitchen. They want to tell you what curriculum, what woke curriculum, needs to be taught to your children. I look at the hypocrisy of the Biden White House and know that they really don’t have a moral compass. We saw that in full display this week. It was embarrassing of what we saw and how he is shrugging it off. I’m hopeful that when important legislation does come to Biden’s desk that he does the right thing and sign it. I’m always an optimist, but I’ll tell you, what I’ve seen in the last week from the Biden administration, I have serious concerns.”