Kentucky attorney general joins leaders from other states urging President Biden to classify Fentanyl ‘weapon of mass destruction’

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Published: Sep. 23, 2022 at 8:09 AM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WYMT) - Kentucky’s top law enforcement official is joining 18 of his counterparts from both political parties to urge President Biden to add a deadly drug to a very important list.

On Thursday, Attorney General Daniel Cameron added his name to a letter urging the administration to classify Fentanyl as a weapon of mass destruction.

“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 in a news release.

And the issue seems to only be getting worse.

“You know it seems like within the past year it has become more and more prevalent and more and more widespread, it seems like access to this drug has increased significantly,” said Adam Maggard Director of Program Development, Kentucky River Community Care.

If the president honors the request, the Department of Homeland Security and the Drug Enforcement Administration would 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, possibly freeing up resources to local law enforcement.

“We don’t have the resources, we don’t have the funding, this is something that needs to be dealt with on a State or Federal level. We need a lot of resources in here to stop it because it’s killing a lot of people,” said Perry County Sheriff Joe Engle.

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.

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.

To read the full letter, click here.