Intelligence Gathered Through Section 702 of FISA Has Been Critical to Disrupting The Flow of Illicit Drugs

(WASHINGTON, DC) – A pivotal tool in the nation’s ongoing war against illicit drugs, especially dangerous illicit fentanyl, could soon be lost to law enforcement if House lawmakers can’t unify behind reauthorization of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). That is the message delivered by the Foundation for Drug Policy Solutions (FDPS) in a letter to House Speaker Mike Johnson and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, and co-signed by 18 other leading drug policy organizations.

“Millions of Americans are dying from illicit fentanyl and other dangerous drugs that are being trafficked across the Southern Border every day. We should be empowering our nation’s intelligence and law enforcement agencies with the tools they need to combat these highly organized foreign cartels that are profiting off this horrendous activity, not cutting off critical resources,” said Foundation for Drug Policy Solutions (FDPS) President Dr. Kevin Sabet, who visited U.S. Customs and Border Protection sites along the US-Mexico border last year and saw first-hand the extent of illicit drugs being seized by authorities.

“Members of Congress often wax poetic about the dangers of these drugs, now they need to stand on the side of health and safety. This isn’t about punishing users. It’s about combatting foreign drug dealers who only want to profit off the pain and heartbreak of Americans suffering from addiction and substance use disorders,” Sabet continued.

A copy of the coalition’s letter can be found HERE.

“Reauthorization of Section 702 cuts to the heart of the old adage, ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.’ Section 702 has been central in understanding the Chinese origins of a chemical used to synthesize illicit fentanyl and learning about a foreign narcotics trafficker’s purchase of a vast quantity of pills for transfer to the United States. It would be tremendously shortsighted to eliminate or weaken Section 702 at a time when we are seeing foreign cartels improve their operations and introduce new synthetic drug compounds,” Sabet stated. “We cannot ignore how foreign drug cartels are exacerbating our nation’s drug crisis. Congress must step up and re-authorize Section 702.”

Sabet’s comments were echoed by other letter signatories.

Facing Fentanyl Founder Andrea Thomas said, “As a family who has tragically lost a child to fentanyl poisoning, I stand in full support of The Honorable Mike Johnson and Leader Hakeem Jeffries. Section 702 of FISA is not just a tool for national security; it’s a lifeline in our battle against illicit fentanyl. This provision has proven indispensable in gathering intelligence crucial to combating drug trafficking and preventing more families from enduring the heartbreak we’ve faced. Without Section 702, we risk worsening the already devastating toll of the opioid crisis. I urge our leaders to preserve this vital resource for the sake of countless lives.”

Drug Awareness Foundation Director Juli Shamash said, “We need to use every tool at our disposal in order to try to decrease American deaths from illicit fentanyl. Section 702 is imperative to help stop fentanyl from being trafficked into our country. Section 702 provides real tools for our intelligence community to stop illicit fentanyl production and trafficking before it comes into our country. If law enforcement loses the ability to obtain crucial information about drug trafficking, the drug crisis will surely worsen.”