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Fentanyl Overdose Crisis

I just read that fentanyl is about 10 times more profitable than heroin.


That's no surprise. Drug prohibition pushes dealers for ever-more-powerful substances to increase profitability.


It's called the Iron Law of Prohibition. Here's how it works: Smugglers will always seek to sell more powerful substances to shrink package size. This maximizes profits and minimizes risk of detection. It's easy to understand. A 1-ounce package is easier to hide than a 1-pound package.


Here are some well known examples of this law:

Was wine, became hard alcohol. Was cocaine, now crack. Was crack, now methamphetamine. Was Vicodin or heroin, now fentanyl.


The law works the same whenever prohibition tries to counteract the profit motive. The War on Drugs will always incentivize dealers to find more powerful, more concentrated substances to sell. The profit motive will always pull dealers to sell more profitable drugs. The risk of getting caught will always push dealers to make smaller, more concentrated drugs. From reports I've read of drugs on the horizon, this progression to ever-harder drugs is far from over. There are chemicals that are more powerful than fentanyl, waiting for market opportunity. These harder drugs will eventually replace fentanyl.


The fundamental paradox lies in the fact that drug prohibition is the very catalyst for driving these substances into the marketplace. From its beginning, prohibition has inadvertently accelerated the transformation of milder substances into their more potent counterparts. The solution to this quagmire may initially seem audacious, possibly leading some to question my suitability for the office of President. However, the strategy I propose is backed by our national experience; it lowers the homicide rates and reduces government spending. It reduces societal suffering, reunites families, and promotes the healing we need as a society.


My comprehensive plan calls for the immediate federal legalization of all substances, including fentanyl. This action will precipitate a decline in fentanyl overdoses and overall drug abuse rates. Those struggling with addiction will have access to both medical and spiritual care. Moreover, criminal organizations, both domestic and international, will see their revenue streams plummet. They will lose tens of billions of dollars during my first term alone.


You may be familiar with the call to 'defund the police.' My counter-proposal is to defund the criminals themselves. The positive impact on our communities would be immediate, cutting off the financial lifeblood that sustains criminal enterprises. Families who fear losing their children to gang involvement will find newfound hope, while others will experience the joy of reuniting with loved ones. Criminal organizations that have long resisted law enforcement efforts will see their influence diminish and eventually crumble. This approach will not only benefit our nation but also set a global standard in reducing criminal activity.


As the United States takes steps to withdraw its support from global drug prohibition initiatives coordinated by the United Nations, it is anticipated that numerous other countries will follow suit. While nations such as China, North Korea, and Russia may persist in enforcing draconian drug policies that include imprisonment and even capital punishment, the United States aims to pioneer a path toward rational and compassionate approaches to substance use and addiction. In doing so, we will consciously distance ourselves from countries that continue to perpetuate harsh and punitive measures against their citizens.


I understand some may find it difficult to believe that legalizing drugs could benefit society. If my plan for full legalization seems too radical, consider a more targeted approach: legalizing just cocaine and heroin. Doing so would have the immediate effect of draining the fentanyl market. As a result, we could expect a meaningful reduction in overdose-related incidents. But let's not lose sight of the bigger picture: the most comprehensive and effective strategy is full legalization. By taking this step, we would effectively eliminate the full spectrum of harms from drug addiction, drug war, and enduring criminal enterprises.


I think we can all agree on one thing: the profit motive will always win. Criminals will always want to maximize profit and minimize risk of getting caught. Even if you don't agree with the point I'm making, everyone knows that criminals want more money and don't want to be caught.


But legal businesses work differently. Getting caught isn't a risk. They don't have an ever-urgent incentive to concentrate their product. Plus, legal businesses have quality standards. Besides the market incentives to serve customers, legal businesses tend to follow legal standards. Legal businesses would not be caught selling a product that accidentally has fentanyl mixed into it. That would be an accidental exception. And when it was discovered, it would be fixed.


Criminals have no standards. They assault and murder each other. They sell product that is likely to kill people. I can't for the life of me figure out why we have laws that are guaranteed to make them rich. They were rich before. Now with fentanyl, they get ten times the wealth.

We've been on the drug war policy direction for over 50 years. It's time for a change.


The War on Drugs has brought ever increasing harm and suffering. Legalization is the sane option. Legalization is the moral option. Legalization is the option that best aligns with our freedom and values. Legalization is the option that keeps our kids out of prison. Legalization is the option that best protects our police, emergency responders, and our soldiers. Legalization best protects our communities. And I want to address one burning question.


If drugs are legal, won't addiction take over America? What about our children? This question presumes that drugs aren't completely available today. But drugs are available. Anyone who wants drugs today can get them: child or adult, in every American city, suburb, country town, and every prison. There is no shortage of drugs and there never will be. Even when police make 'drug busts' that are 5-20 tons of drugs, and arrest hundreds of drug dealers, there is no shortage of drugs. Drugs are so widely available today that no amount of police work will ever eliminate them or even begin to reduce their availability. Our children are already exposed to drugs through criminal means. We are already in the worst case situation.


Drug legalization is the honest choice. When we're honest with ourselves, we can see that there is nothing we can do to prevent people from using drugs. We can't even keep drugs out of prisons. There is not one prison in the world that can keep drugs out. Well, if we can't keep drugs out of prisons, how would we ever expect to keep them out of an entire nation of free people? Does anyone want to turn America into a prison in the hopes that we could somehow eliminate all drugs? That's not an honest assessment of our situation. No one wants America to be a prison and thankfully, the path of faith is a much better way.


Drug abuse and addiction are spiritual and medical problems. The best way to deal with spiritual problems that others are facing, is to do spiritual housecleaning ourselves. Leading by example is the best example we are given. This path is for all manner of spiritual problems: over spending, gambling, sex addiction, substance abuse. When we "remove the plank in our own eye, then we can see clearly to remove the speck in our brothers' eye". You might say, "But Carmen, I'm not like that drug addict or gambling addict. I have a home and a job. I contribute to society. I don't need to do spiritual work on myself. I'm not out there killing, raping, and robing people."


You are right to do the good things in life. But the spiritual work our country needs is different from score keeping. We need to uncover who we are as people. Everyone can benefit from honest work to gain a deeper understand of ourselves and our relationships. Everyone can benefit from spiritual development. OK, if you're one of the few people that are perfect, then that wouldn't apply to you. But for everyone else, positive, spiritual work is helpful and needed. Part of the positive, spiritual work is amending our laws to reflect the inherent liberties that every American is promised in the Declaration of Independence. It is not possible for a government to both defend liberty and to arrest, imprison, and sometimes kill people who choose to ingest or sell certain substances. Controlling others by force is a serious moral problem. In a post-legalization context, it's important to state unequivocally that drug addiction is not a justification for criminal activity, irrespective of the substance's legal status. Being under the influence doesn't absolve one of guilt from a crime they committed, but it may signify a need for addiction treatment. Judges and prosecutors should use their discretion in sentencing, with the primary focus on the well-being of the victims. While guilt or innocence should be determined by the facts, sentencing offers the opportunity to evaluate whether treatment or incarceration is the appropriate course of action.


For those sentenced to jails and prisons, the quality of addiction treatment within the penal system requires urgent enhancement. A significant proportion of incarcerated individuals have experienced adverse life conditions, ranging from abuse and neglect, mental health issues, insufficient education, and substance dependency. Addressing the underlying spiritual dimensions of these challenges has the potential to effect meaningful transformation, even for those who may serve life sentences without the possibility of parole.

As President of the United States, I am committed to undertaking a thorough review of our nation's international obligations with regard to drug control. In consultation with Congress, key stakeholders, and experts in the field, I intend to initiate the process to withdraw from the United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961. This decision is motivated by a careful evaluation of the treaty's impact on our domestic drug policies and its alignment with the current needs and values of the American people.


The longstanding War on Drugs in the United States has proven to be ineffectual and will be terminated under my administration. Achieving this will necessitate the careful reconsideration and potential revision of numerous legislative frameworks, including approximately 20 major statutes enacted with the aim of curbing drug use through various law enforcement measures. These statutes range from civil asset forfeiture laws to financial regulations and tax codes, and extend to all-encompassing legislation such as the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970—an act whose 'comprehensive' nature merits re-evaluation. In lieu of the existing approach, my administration will reallocate federal resources to address genuine criminal activities that directly harm citizens, thereby fostering a more equitable and effective justice system.


An area urgently demanding increased focus is the issue of human trafficking, a crime that subjects individuals to daily harm and degradation. Immediate intervention is both desired and required by these victims. Given the undeniable criminal nature of this activity, our concerted efforts have the potential to yield significant, tangible improvements with newly directed efforts.

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