TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody is calling on President Joe Biden to designate fentanyl as a “weapon of mass destruction.”
Moody’s request comes as deaths involving synthetic opioids, primarily fentanyl, reach historic levels.
“More than 75,000 Americans died of an opioid overdose during the 12-month period ending in April 2021, primarily from synthetic opioids like fentanyl,” she said in a statement.
She cited an incident in Tampa last week, where seven people were hospitalized after taking the powerful painkiller, and another incident that occurred over spring break, where five West Point cadets overdosed on what was believed to be cocaine laced with fentanyl.
Fentanyl is a synthetic drug roughly 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. Just two miligrams can be considered lethal.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, a weapon of mass destruction is a nuclear, radiological, chemical, biological, or other device that is intended to harm a large number of people.
“Border patrol has seized enough fentanyl to the kill the entire American population many times over. With that in mind, and the recent mass overdose events in Hillsborough and Gadsden counties, I am demanding President Biden classify illicit fentanyl as a Weapon of Mass Destruction,” the statement continued. “The federal government already works to disrupt the supply chains of other chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear weapons — it’s not hard to imagine that similar tactics could be used to reduce the flow of illicit fentanyl into the U.S. through cartels in Mexico — and save countless American lives.”