Donald Trump campaigned heavily on a promise to deal with America’s devastating opioid crisis, and now, he’s reportedly ready to unveil a controversial new plan.
According to Politico, Trump has repeatedly suggested that using the death penalty is a way to deter drug dealers and traffickers.
The Donald Trump plan 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.
Trump’s plan to use the death penalty in some cases found at least one fan among congressional Republicans: Rep. Chris Collins of New York, one of the president’s most consistent cheerleaders. “I’m all in on the capital punishment side for those offenses that would warrant that,” he said when asked about the plans Thursday afternoon. “Including drug cases. Yep.”
According to Politico, several congressional Democrats were alarmed by the call by Donald Trump to implement the death penalty. “We are still paying the costs for one failed ‘war on drugs,’ and now President Trump is drawing up battle plans for another,” said Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts. “We will not incarcerate or execute our way out of the opioid epidemic.”
Last month Axios reported that Donald Trump “loves” the notion of imposing capital punishment on drug dealers—an approach taken by the Philippines, Singapore, and China. Trump reportedly references the approach frequently, saying, “When I ask the prime minister of Singapore do they have a drug problem, the prime minister replies, ‘No. Death penalty.’” The report suggests that Trump thinks drug dealers are “as bad as serial killers,” and believes that more lenient drug policies “will never work.”