White House officials said on Sunday that President Donald Trump’s plan to combat the opioid crisis would “seek the death penalty against drug traffickers when appropriate under current law,” according to Politico.
That’s after Politico reported on a version of the plan last week that called for the death penalty for drug dealers as well as traffickers in certain cases.
“The Department of Justice will seek the death penalty against drug traffickers when appropriate under current law,” White House director of the Domestic Policy Council Andrew Bremberg said.
Trump has publicly expressed his desire to enforce strict punishments for drug dealers, and proposed at a recent rally that dealers be given the death penalty. The president has reportedly expressed admiration in private of the brutal crack down in the Philippines on drug dealers and users that has left thousands dead from extrajudicial killings.
Trump will announce his opioid plan on his visit to New Hampshire on Monday. POLITICO first reported on Thursday that the White House was finalizing its opioid plan, which includes a mix of administration actions and initiatives that would require new funds or laws from Congress.
There were more than 64,000 drug overdose deaths in 2016, mostly involving opioids, according to the most recent federal mortality data. The CDC this month reported that emergency rooms recorded a 30 percent spike in opioid overdoses last summer, indicating that the devastating crisis is worsening.
The administration says its plan will reduce opioid prescriptions by one-third within three years and that the initiative will fulfill Trump’s campaign promise to “stop opioid abuse.”
[image via screengrab]
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