Democrats and Republicans Just Worked Together (!) to Make Progress on the Opioid Epidemic

A new law will crack down on foreign fentanyl.

President Trump signs the INTERDICT Act/White House

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On Wednesday evening, President Donald Trump signed bipartisan legislation that will appropriate funds to buy machines that identify packages containing fentanyl, an opioid up to 100 times more powerful than morphine that is driving the overdose epidemic.

The new law, called the International Narcotics Trafficking Emergency Response by Detecting Incoming Contraband with Technology (INTERDICT) Act, authorizes $9 million for Customs and Border Patrol to buy and man high-tech scanners that can quickly detect fentanyl and its many variations without requiring that packages be opened.

While most heroin in the United States comes from Mexico, the bulk of fentanyl is illicitly manufactured in China and sent in the mail, either directly to the United States or to Mexico, where it is mixed with the drugs before making its way north. Because the drug is so potent, it is deadly in small doses and easy to conceal. 

Drug surveillance, rather than an $18 billion wall, is “real border protection,” said Paul Tencher, chief of staff for Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), who authored the senate legislation. Tencher noted that the legislation seems to be one of the few agreements between congressional democrats, who are pushing for increased federal funding for addiction treatment and research, and the president, who has so far failed to deliver promises to devote resources to the epidemic.

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Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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