Jelly Roll Delivers Testimony to Urge Congress to Pass Anti-Fentanyl Legislation
Reading Time: 3 minutes
Grammy-nominated country singer Jelly Roll delivered an impassioned plea before Congress last week. He drew on his past substance abuse to advocate for new anti-fentanyl laws aimed at saving lives.
Jelly Roll Expressed Honest Thoughts About Anti-Fentanyl Law
Speaking before the Senate Banking Committee, the musician known as Jason DeFord described the devastating impact of fentanyl he’s witnessed firsthand. He called on lawmakers to pass the proposed FEND Off Fentanyl Act targeting international traffickers of the deadly synthetic opioid.
In his opening remarks, Jelly Roll acknowledged his role in propagating addiction struggles that plague communities nationwide. As a former drug dealer contending with his own substance abuse, he was entrenched in a world that the FEND Act seeks to dismantle.
“I was part of the problem. I am here now, standing as a man that wants to be a part of the solution,” Jelly Roll said.
He described the lack of knowledge among street dealers mixing various narcotics with fentanyl, not comprehending the lethal consequences.
Jelly Roll cited attending too many funerals of loved ones lost to overdose, emphasizing fentanyl’s indiscriminate destruction beyond just hardcore addicts. He also conveyed the depth of the issue through his own reform.
Jelly Roll Advocates For Improved Treatment of People Battling Addiction
Beyond his past, Jelly Roll disclosed fentanyl’s ongoing damage within his own family. He revealed that his teenage daughter’s mother currently battles addiction.
“Every single day, I have to wonder if me and my wife, if today will be the day that I have to tell my daughter her mother became a part of the national statistic,” he said.
Jelly Roll argued the crisis requires viewing drug addiction as a mental health issue rather than solely a criminal justice matter. He advocated for improved care, treatment, and support resources to confront the epidemic’s core drivers.
Citing his conviction background, Jelly Roll described losing rights like voting and homeownership due to the legal system’s limits on rehabilitation. He called for removing roadblocks to positively reintegrate people with substance abuse histories.
Uniting to Pass Life-Saving Legislation
Joining law enforcement leaders, Jelly Roll asserted the nonpartisan urgency of passing the anti-fentanyl bill. He cited alarming overdose death projections during just his brief remarks.
The musician drew comparisons to past drug crises, arguing history will repeat without proactive deterrence of trafficking and treatment funding.
While the House blocked the FEND Act’s inclusion in the 2022 defense bill, Jelly Roll insisted now is the time for unity and action. He encouraged lawmakers to take the message to colleagues and constituents, building grassroots momentum.
Through firsthand accounts, Jelly Roll aimed to put a human face on heartbreaking statistics. By contextualizing his own struggles, he tried to mobilize political will to combat the spread of fentanyl. He did this with the goal of destroying individuals, families, and communities across America.