July 27, 2020 | News | No Comments
Donald Trump has hinted that he wants to see the death penalty for drug dealers.
The US president said some other countries use the "ultimate penalty" for such people and it appeared to be effective in reducing the scourge of drugs.
Mr Trump was speaking at an "Opioid Summit" at the White House aimed at tackling America’s opioid crisis.
He said: "If you shoot one person they give you the death penalty. These people (drug dealers) can kill two or three thousand people and nothing happens to them.
"The answer is you have to have strength and toughness. Drug dealers and pushers are really doing damage.
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"Some countries have the tough penalty, the ultimate penalty. And by the way they have much less of a drug problem than we do."
Mr Trump is believed to have privately praised Singapore’s policy of using the death penalty for drug traffickers.
America’s war against opioid addiction
He is said to like the idea of America having it for major drug dealers, although to accept that such a goal may not be achievable.
At the summit the president also encouraged Jeff Sessions, his Attorney General, to pursue litigation against major pharmaceutical companies manufacturing opioids.
He said: "Hopefully we can do some litigation against the companies. Some of the states are doing it. I keep saying if the states are doing it why aren’t the federal government doing it. So that’ll happen, that’ll happen."’
The rate of death by drug overdose in the US has steadily risen
This year an estimated 65,000 Americans will die after overdosing on opioids, whether it be prescription painkillers or illegal street drugs like heroin.
That is more than die in car crashes or gun incidents, and more than the number of US soldiers that perished in the Vietnam War.
The legal opioid market in America is worth around $15 billion a year.
The US has only five per cent of the world’s population, but consumes 80 per cent of all prescription painkillers.
It has also been flooded with illegal and powerful synthetic opioids from China.
The impact of synthetic fentanyl, a version of a drug originally intended for use by cancer patients, has been devastating.
It is 50 times stronger than heroin and more than half of overdose victims now have it in their system.
Mr Trump has said the opioids crisis is a top priority for his administration.
Last October he declared it a public health emergency and he recently signed a budget agreement that will provide $6 billion over the next two years to fight opioid abuse.