Republican Senator Chuck Grassley joined Democrats Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada and Maggie Hassan to introduce the Combating Illicit Xylazine Act last week.
Grassley of Iowa sits on the Senate Ag Committee and joins the effort to crack down on the highly dangerous sedative causing fatal overdoses nationwide. Xylazine is an easily accessible veterinary tranquilizer that is being used as a low-cost cutting agent. The Drug Enforcement Agency recently reported 23 percent of fentanyl powder contained it in 2022.
The legislation would classify xylazine illicit use under 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. However, lawmakers say the bill will also protect access for veterinarians, farmers, cattlemen, and ranchers by protecting the veterinary medicine use of xylazine.
The American Veterinary Medical Association “fully supports” the effort, adding. “it strikes the right balance of protecting our communities while preserving veterinary access to this critically important animal drug.”