FRANKFORT, KY – Yesterday, Attorney General Daniel Cameron joined a bi-partisan coalition of 18 attorneys general, urging President Biden to classify fentanyl as a Weapon of Mass Destruction (WMD).
“Fentanyl overdoses have already claimed the lives of far too many Kentuckians, and we want to ensure bad actors do not further weaponize this substance to harm Kentuckians and Americans,” said Attorney General Cameron. “We’ve called on the Biden Administration to declare fentanyl a Weapon of Mass Destruction. I hope the President heeds our advice and takes immediate action to equip law enforcement with more tools to protect Kentuckians from this highly lethal substance.”
In their letter, the coalition calls on President Biden to respond to the record increase in overdose deaths related to fentanyl by naming the lethal substance as a WMD. This action would require the Department of Homeland Security and the Drug Enforcement Administration to coordinate a response with other agencies, including the Department of Defense—as opposed to the federal government only treating the substance as a narcotics control problem.
Fentanyl is a deadly synthetic opioid. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest report, more than 75,000 Americans died from overdose of synthetic opioids, mainly fentanyl, in the 12-month period ending in February 2022.
Since last February, the amount of fentanyl seized could kill every man, woman, and child in the country more than 11 times.
Despite record amounts of fentanyl being seized by the United States Customs and Border Patrol, large quantities are still entering the United States.
The attorneys general are deeply troubled by the threat this substance poses to the nation. Due to the low cost of production, inherent lethality, and vast availability, fentanyl is an ideal chemical weapon for bad actors.
The attorneys general write, “Just two milligrams of fentanyl are needed to kill an adult, and it can easily be placed in other substances. In fact, it already is—according to reports, at least one-third of illicitly manufactured pills are contaminated with fentanyl. The threat of a state enemy using this drug to do harm to the American people cannot be understated.”
Attorney General Cameron was joined by attorneys general from Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Guam, Indiana, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia in signing the letter.
The full letter can be found here.