President Donald Trump has repeatedly stated that he wants to make fixing the nation's opioid crisis a priority for his administration, but has done little to show for it. And his new proposal sounds a bit ridiculous.
A report emerged that Donald Trump is planning to propose the death penalty for drug dealers who sell opioids that lead to drug overdoses. Some states, such as Florida, already institute laws that allow for the death penalty for cases where this situation occurs, but Trump's proposal would make it federal law.
There are several problems with this proposal. First of all, not every state allows the death penalty, so this policy wouldn't help in the 19 states that currently ban the death penalty (and several others who have a moratorium on it). Also, a legal expert interviewed by the Guardian says it's not clear if that punishment would be constitutional, and would most likely need a decision from the Supreme Court.
The other issue is Trump isn't really proposing anything else! He's asked Congress to lower the standards for imposing harsh drug sentences, but he's not proposed anything to actually try and help curb opioid addictions. There's no proposals for more treatment centers, nothing about going after prescription drug companies that push dangerous opioids. While the death penalty may deter some people from dealing opioids, it's going to do nothing to prevent people from becoming addicted to the drugs in the first place.
Of course, one way to prevent people from abusing opioids is to legalize medical marijuana, because states with legalized cannabis have lower rates of opioid use. But the Trump administration has repeatedly said that's not an option.
So let's see if Trump's non-action on opioids will finally end the crisis!
(h/t The Guardian)