- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 11, 2019

The Drug Enforcement Administration on Thursday proposed reducing the manufacturing quotas for the five most frequently abused opioids by an average of 30 percent in 2020.

Simultaneously, the DEA announced it would triple the amount of marijuana grown for research.

The moves signal the Trump administration is cracking down on opioid abuse while softening its hard-line stance on marijuana as a number of states continue to legalize its use.

“DEA takes seriously its obligations to both protect the public from illicit drug trafficking and ensure adequate supplies to meet the legitimate needs of patients and researchers for these substances,” DEA acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon said in a statement.

The anti-drug agency said will reduce fentanyl production by 31 percent, hydrocodone by 19 percent, hydromorphone by 25 percent, oxycodone by nine percent and oxymorphone by 55 percent.

Combined with a reduction in morphine, the proposed quota would decrease opioid production by an average of 53 percent since 2016.

The DEA is requesting more than 3.2 million grams of marijuana to be grown legally in 2020, up nearly a third from the 2.4 million grown this year. The increased haul will be used for scientific research.

Both proposals are part of the DEA’s annual quota for manufacturing controlled substances to meet the nation’s medical, scientific, research and industrial needs.

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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