West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey told Newsmax Wednesday that the federal government should "classify fentanyl as a weapon of mass destruction."
"It is an absolute travesty that we should have to press in order to convince [President Joe] Biden's administration to do its job while fentanyl has now become the No. 1 killer of individuals between the ages of 18 to 46. It's outrageous at a level that I think most people can't fathom," Morrisey said during "The Chris Salcedo Show" Wednesday. "The first thing I want to do is I want to make sure that we're going to classify fentanyl as a weapon of mass destruction. The reason that's so important is because then we'll get the extra federal agency resources Department of Defense resources to treat it as seriously as it is."
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine and was developed as a pain management treatment for cancer patients.
It has, however, found its way into use along with heroin among addicts and abusers to increase potency, which can be deadly because of its high lethality with just small doses.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that drug overdose deaths, driven "primarily" by fentanyl. killed 107,000 in 2019 and kill an estimated 150 people daily.
Morrisey said that Attorney General Merrick Garland needs to "step up" and increase fentanyl prosecutions and that Secretary of State Antony Blinken must work to stop the spread of its ingredients coming into Mexico from China and then being illegally smuggled across the southern border into the United States.
"Merrick Garland has been failing utterly in this area. We have written to him," Morrisey said. "We've pressed him on this. He needs to step up. Then third, we need to shine a spotlight on the Chinese ingredients that are flooding into Mexico. And the person most able to do that is Secretary of State Blinken, and he's been a failure on this issue."
Morrisey said that while many people focus on Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and his role with fentanyl coming across the southern border, Blinken could do more to negotiate with China and Mexico to stop the pipeline of the drug.
"I think if you do those things and you have robust oversight in terms of the new House majority, you're going to start to get more attention on this," he said. "We have to make sure that there is a sensitivity that our youth are being slaughtered at a level that we haven't seen from anything in the last 20 years."
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