Trump's opioid plan reportedly calls for executing certain drug dealers

Trump's opioid task force
(Image credit: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

President Trump has been saying privately and, increasingly, in public speeches that he wants capital punishment for drug dealers, and that idea has made it into the latest draft of his plan to fight America's opioid crisis, Politico reports. The wide-ranging plan, which could be announced as soon as Monday, combines drug treatment and prevention options with ramped-up law enforcement measures, including the death penalty in "certain cases where opioid, including fentanyl-related, drug dealing and trafficking are directly responsible for death." It also envisions a new Justice Department task force to monitor internet sales of opioids and crack down on negligent doctors and pharmacies.

The plan, as currently written, gives first responders increased access to the anti-overdose drug naloxone, asks Congress to allow Medicaid to pay for in-treatment addiction care, and urges states to use a national drug prescription database, among other things. The proposals cost much more than Trump has budgeted and Congress would likely approve, Politico says, and the plan promises to cut opioid prescriptions by a third within three years and fulfill Trump's promise to "stop opioid abuse."

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Peter Weber, The Week US

Peter has worked as a news and culture writer and editor at The Week since the site's launch in 2008. He covers politics, world affairs, religion and cultural currents. His journalism career began as a copy editor at a financial newswire and has included editorial positions at The New York Times Magazine, Facts on File, and Oregon State University.