Jelly Roll Testifies Before Congress About the Dangers of Fentanyl [WATCH]

Jelly Roll is speaking out about the fentanyl crisis taking place in the United States. The former drug dealer testified before the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee on Thursday, January 11.

Jelly Roll, whose real name is Jason DeFord, was there in support of the Fentanyl Eradication and Narcotics Deterrence (FEND) Off Fentanyl Act, which would “which would wield financial sanctions against drug traffickers to disrupt the flow of opioids coming in from China and Mexico” (per CBS News).

The 39-year-old shared a shocking statistic that, on average, 190 people overdose and die every day, the equivalent of a packed 737 aircraft going down daily.

“Could you imagine the national media attention it would get if they were reporting that a plane was crashing every single day and killing 190 people? But because it’s 190 drug addicts, we don’t feel that way,” Jelly Roll said. “Because America has been known to bully and shame drug addicts, instead of dealing and trying to understand what the actual root of the problem is with that.”

Jelly Roll was open, and painfully honest, about the personal impact the use of fentanyl has had on him, multiple times.

“I’ve attended more funerals than I care to share with y’all,” Jelly Roll shared as part of his testimony. ‘I could sit here and cry for days about the caskets I’ve carried of people I’ve loved dearly, deeply, in my soul. Good people. Not just drug addicts. Uncles, friends, cousins, normal people. Some people that just got in a car wreck, and started taking a pain pill to manage it. One thing led to the other. How fast it spirals out of control. I don’t think people truly, truly understand.”

The Nashville native, still hindered by his felony conviction, never once imagined he would be lobbying for stricter consequences for drug dealers, which is why he says the new bill is so important.

“I’m not here to defend the use of illegal drugs,” Jelly Roll explained. “And I also understand the paradox of my history as a drug dealer standing in front of this committee. But equally, I think that’s what makes me perfect to talk about this. I was a part of the problem. I am here now standing as a man who wants to be a part of the solution.

“I brought my community down,” he continued. “I hurt people. I was the uneducated man in the kitchen playing chemists with drugs I knew absolutely nothing about, just like these drug dealers are doing right now when they’re mixing every drug on the market with fentanyl. And they’re killing the people we love.”

Jelly Roll also revealed how the ongoing fentanyl crisis affects him, due to his daughter, Bailee, whom he is raising with his wife, Bunnie.

“Now I have a 15-year-old daughter whose mother is a drug addict,” Jelly Roll said. “Every day I get to look in the eyes of a victim in my household, of the effects of drugs. Every single day. And every sngle day I have to wonder if me and my wife, if today will be the day that I have to tell my daughter that her mother became a part of the national statistic.”

The “Save Me” singer urged Congress to do more to help curb the ongoing fentanyl epidemic in the United States.

“It is time for us to be proactive and not reactive,” he said. “We were reactive with crack, we were reactive with opioids, and y’all are taking the first step at somebody in the Senate finally being proactive. I truly believe in my heart that this bill can help stop the supply of fentanyl.”

Find all of Jelly Roll’s music and upcoming shows at

Read ‘Jelly Roll: 11 Things to Know About the Reformed Singer’ here.