The Trump administration is finalizing a long-awaited plan that it says will solve the opioid crisis. It reportedly calls for a federal death penalty for some drug dealers.
The ambitious plan could be announced as soon as Monday when President Donald Trump visits New Hampshire, a state hard hit by the opioid epidemic. It includes a mix of prevention and treatment measures that advocates have long endorsed, as well as beefed-up enforcement in line with the president’s frequent calls for a harsh crackdown on drug traffickers and dealers.
In addition to a federal death penalty for some drug dealers, the White House plan also calls for making it easier to invoke the mandatory minimum sentence for drug traffickers who knowingly distribute illegal opioids that can be lethal, like fentanyl.
It also proposes a new Justice Department task force known as “Prescription Interdiction and Litigation,” or PIL, which would be empowered to step up prosecutions of criminally negligent doctors, pharmacies and other providers, Politico reports.
Some administration officials hoped to announce the long-developing opioid plan — including the death penalty for drug dealers — at the March 1 opioid summit, but it wasn't ready in time. However, Trump still talked that day about the need to use the death penalty to fight the opioid epidemic. "If you shoot one person, they give you life, they give you the death penalty," Trump said at the time. "These people can kill 2,000, 3,000 people and nothing happens to them."