John Burke reports on how Donald Trump is trying to come down hard on drug dealing in the United States
Trump rolled out his three-part plan on how he is going to tackle the Opioid Epidemic. Over the past few weeks Trump has called for education and awareness on drug addiction across the country.
The President said he will be working with Congress to raise $7.8 billion in new funding for 2018 and 2019 to fight the opioid crisis.
In 2016, over 42,000 lives have been taken by the opioid epidemic, and 500,000 lives have been lost since the year 2000, according to statistics by the US Centers for Disease control and Prevention. Trump has called for a public health emergency and public health experts have said that’s where the focus should be.
“This isn’t about being nice anymore, this is about winning a very tough problem, and if we don’t get tough it will happen folks, I want to win this battle”
Trump formalized these plans after long decisions about it. His argument was if a person in the United States can get the death penalty of life in prison for murder, why can’t drugs dealers get similar punishment if they are killing hundreds and even thousands of people. Trump has also discussed how his policies, including the US-Mexico border wall and the punishing of Sanctuary cities that refuse to let Federal immigration authorities enter the cities, would help reduce the flow of drugs coming in and help end the addiction epidemic.
Trump was quoted saying: “This isn’t about being nice anymore, this is about winning a very tough problem, and if we don’t get tough it will happen folks, I want to win this battle”
Trump’s plan have drawn criticism from some Democrats, in particular Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, who was quoted saying: “We can’t arrest our way out of the opioid, the war on drugs in the 80’s didn’t work.”
The nationwide public awareness campaign that Trump announced last fall included commercials to scare kids away from dabbling in drugs. He announced a new website, www.crisisnextdoor.gov, where members of the public can share their personal stories about the dangers that drug addiction can have.
Even though the next presidential election in 2020 is more than 30 months away, there is already talk of party nominees. Senator Jeff Flake, who is a current senator, is a huge Trump critic and is hoping he does not get re-elected. Flake was quoted saying, “Someone needs to stop Trump, it could be me if no one steps up.”
Last Monday, March 19th, Ivanka Trump, Trump’s daughter and senior advisor to the president, spent the day discussing the infrastructure that is to be put in place over the next few months.