Yesterday, while visiting New Hampshire, President Trump spoke about the opioid crisis, and his plans to help solve the situation that is devastating many communities.
Per a Reuters article about the speech,
He said the United States must “get tough” on opioids. “And that toughness includes the death penalty,” he said. Neither Trump nor the White House gave further details as to when it would be appropriate to seek the death penalty.
Trump said that he was working with Congress to find $6 billion in new funding for 2018 and 2019 to fight the opioid crisis. The plan will also seek to cut opioid prescriptions by a third over three years by changing federal programs, he said.
Addiction to opioids – mainly prescription painkillers, heroin and fentanyl – is a growing U.S. problem, especially in rural areas. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 42,000 people died from opioid overdoses in 2016.
For Trump, the New Hampshire visit returned him to a state that gave him a key Republican primary election win when he was a political newcomer in 2016. Back then, he promised to tackle the opioid crisis, which is severe in the New England state.
Trump said he wanted to give first responders access to life-saving drugs that can reverse overdoses. He said the nasal spray Narcan, which can block opioid effects in overdoses, would be provided free to U.S. schools.
He introduced Mike Kelly, an executive at Adapt Pharma, which makes Narcan, at the event. “We’ve provided, free-of-charge, four boxes to all colleges and universities in the United States. Two boxes free for every high school in the United States, as well as educational awareness,” Kelly said.
Trump also said his plan would crack down on international and domestic illicit drug supply chains. Part of that would include requiring electronic data for 90 percent of international mail shipments with goods, he said.
He said the United States would “engage with China and expand cooperation with Mexico to reduce supplies of heroin, other illicit opioids, and precursor chemicals.”
The Justice Department will target negligent physicians and pharmacies, he said, adding that he was considering litigation against drug companies implicated in the opioid crisis.
“We will continue to aggressively prosecute drug traffickers and we will use federal law to seek the death penalty wherever appropriate,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement. The death penalty is allowed in 31 states.
There has been a LOT of push back about the possibility of the death penalty for drug dealers… but I, for one, fully support it! After all, with drugs like heroin and fentanyl, the end result for the user is all too often an unplanned death penalty, via overdose. And one single drug dealer can create thousands and thousands of deaths. The punishment must match the crime.
You can watch the full speech below. Enjoy!! 🙂