Pa. moves to list animal sedative as a controlled substance

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Pennsylvania is moving to add an elephant tranquilizer to its list of controlled substances because drug traffickers increasingly are mixing the drug with heroin.

Carfentanil is a powerful opioid that is 10,000 times stronger than morphine. A small dose can be lethal to humans.

Health Secretary Karen Murphy has issued a notice of intent to temporarily schedule the drug as a Schedule II controlled substance under the state’s Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act.

“By temporarily making carfentanil a Schedule II controlled substance, we are allowing law enforcement to take appropriate action against those in possession of this extremely dangerous drug,” Gov. Tom Wolf said in a statement. “I am encouraging the legislature to take action to permanently make carfentanil a Schedule II controlled substance.”

Carfentanil was classified as a Schedule II narcotic in the Federal Controlled Substance Act in 1988, but the narcotic is not currently scheduled in Pennsylvania.

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