'President Donald Trump will soon lay out a plan that seeks the death penalty for drug traffickers, a White House official has announced. Earlier, an official hinted that petty dealers would receive less severe sentences.
"The Department of Justice will seek the death penalty against drug traffickers when it's appropriate under current law," Domestic Policy Council director Andrew Bremberg told reporters at a briefing on Sunday.
Trump is expected to announce the measures on Monday at an event in New Hampshire, a state that has been hit especially hard by the opioid epidemic. Trump previously touted the idea at a congressional by-election rally in Pennsylvania the weekend before.
“If somebody goes and shoots somebody, or kills somebody, they go away for life and they can even get the death penalty, right?” Trump told the crowd. “A drug dealer will kill 2,000, 3,000, 5,000 people during the course of his or her life. So you can kill thousands of people and go to jail for 30 days. They catch a drug dealer, they don’t even put them in jail.”
Earlier, an anonymous government official told CNN that while the plan would stiffen the penalties “for the people who are bringing the poison into our communities,” it would reduce them for “other people languishing in prison for these low-level drug crimes.”
"The President thinks that the punishment doesn't fit the crime," the official said, adding that the draconian punishments would be reserved for those who are trafficking opioids like heroin and fentanyl into the country, not for those who “are growing pot in the backyard or a friend who has a low-level possession crime.”'
Read more: Trump to announce anti-opioid plan with death penalty for dealers
February 2018 - More Than 60 U.S. Cities Are Suing Big Pharma Over Opioids
'Through peer-to-peer compacts and direct negotiations with the U.N., city leaders took unprecedented action on climate change and immigration last year, despite federal stonewalling. In 2018, municipal officials appear to be pooling their legislative heft on another issue receiving little support from the White House: opioid abuse.
In 2017, the Trump administration promised to produce some “really tough, really big, really great advertising” to persuade Americans to “Just Say No,” according to the New York Times. But the president has so far offered little in the way of funding for the communities harmed by the opioid epidemic, which killed nearly 64,000 U.S. citizens in 2016. Instead, he’s attempted to pass trillion-dollar cuts to Medicaid and proposed slashing the Office of National Drug Control Policy by 95 percent, New York Magazine reports.
It’s in this federal environment that cities have decided to sue — en masse. According to the Guardian, more than 60 U.S. cities have filed lawsuits against the makers of prescription pain killers like OxyContin, Percocet and fentanyl. In late January, New York and Philadelphia joined their growing ranks.
“More New Yorkers have died from opioid overdoses than car crashes and homicides combined in recent years,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said, announcing the lawsuit. “‘Big Pharma’ helped to fuel this epidemic by deceptively peddling these dangerous drugs and hooking millions.”
Here’s a rundown of the more notable cases.'
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