Trump Seeks Death Penalty for Drug Traffickers to Curb US Opioid Abuse

Pauline Gross
March 20, 2018

Trump travels to New Hampshire on Monday to roll out the new plan in one of the states hardest hit by opioid addiction and death.

The Trump administration is to seek an increased use of the death penalty for drug dealers in a raft of policies aiming to combat the opioid drug epidemic sweeping through the US.

President Trump and first lady Melania Trump were in Manchester with Attorney General Jeff Sessions and several cabinet members to unveil the Initiative to Stop Opioid Abuse during remarks at Manchester Community College. The Trump administration has unveiled a series of new measures to tackle the opioid crisis.

Despite Trump's claims, there's no data backing up the claim that immigrants commit more drug-related crimes than USA citizens.

"Thousands of people are killed or their lives are destroyed, their families are destroyed".

"My Department of Justice will be seeking so many, much tougher penalties than we've ever had".

Part of the three-part plan also includes raising awareness, cutting illegal drug flow and expanding proven treatment options.

"We can have all the blue ribbon committees we want", Trump said, "but if we don't get tough on drug dealers, we are wasting our time". "We're used to operating through different vehicles, in the shadows", he said, "and I look forward to building a very long-term and secretive relationship with you".

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Mr. Trump's daughter, Ivanka, will be in Iowa on Monday, and the Trump campaign recently announced a campaign manager, Brad Parscale.

The new plan will seek to cut opioid prescriptions by a third over the next three years by changing federal healthcare programs, White House officials said. According to a transcript of a call he had with Duterte in April of a year ago, Trump appeared to congratulate the leader of the Philippines for the "unbelievable job" he is doing with the "drug problem".

One element of the plan includes applying the federal death penalty to drug traffickers where applicable under current law.

The president will also urge Congress to change a decades-old rule that greatly restricts Medicaid from fund residential treatment in certain facilities for those with an opioid addiction, a move that could cost billions of dollars. If we don't get tough on these dealers, we are not going to win this battle.

"The idea that we can ratchet up punishment and penalties of various sorts to address the supply is based on exactly zero evidence of the probability that this will work", Leo Beletsky, a professor of law and health sciences at Northeastern University, told The Washington Post. The state has been an epicenter in the fight against opioids and Trump's focus on the scourge came from events he headlined in the state where he heard about the epidemic.

"I say it all the time - it started in New Hampshire", said Trump.

As far as any new policy announcements from the president, Goonan has one major wish.

Last October, Trump declared the crisis a national public health emergency, short of the national state of emergency sought by a presidential commission he put together to study the issue. That gives the Granite State the second highest rate of overdose deaths related to opioids in the nation. Other Republicans who are considering challenges to the president have already started visiting the New Hampshire.

Other reports by GizPress

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