PLYMOUTH, Minn. – October 5, 2022 – Minnesota Attorney General candidate Jim Schultz today joined with a bipartisan multistate coalition of attorneys general calling for President Biden to classify fentanyl as a Weapon of Mass Destruction. This action would require the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Department of Homeland Security to coordinate with the Department of Defense and other agencies rather than treating the substance as a narcotics control problem. This coordinated approach promises to disrupt the supply and distribution of fentanyl by drug cartels and foreign companies in China and elsewhere. In 2021 alone, Minnesota suffered 834 deaths resulting from overdoses of synthetic opioids (almost exclusively fentanyl and fentanyl analogues). In the 12-month period ending in February 2022 more than 75,000 Americans died from overdoses of synthetic opioids, and fentanyl is the number one cause of death for U.S. adults between the ages of 18 and 45. As described by the chief of the Drug Enforcement Agency, Anne Milgram, “Fentanyl is the single deadliest drug threat our nation has ever encountered.”
“Those lost to fentanyl are brothers and sisters, fathers, mothers, friends. The human toll is staggering, and we cannot sit idly by as so many so-called ‘leaders’ have done” Schultz said. “It is critically important that President Biden take this step to have a coordinated, all-of-government approach to dealing with this crisis.”
“Fentanyl is one of a myriad of serious threats to the safety and security of Minnesotans, and we need an Attorney General who will lead on this critical issue,” Schultz added. “It is disturbing that the current Attorney General of Minnesota declined to join this bipartisan effort. Keith Ellison seems to think that getting a settlement or two with opioid manufacturers for wrongs done years ago is enough. In fact, we need to focus on halting the deaths happening right now. We need to push the federal government for the strategy and resources necessary to combat this scourge, and we need to aggressively prosecute those involved in fentanyl distribution in Minnesota. Keith Ellison is ‘missing in action’ when it comes to many of his responsibilities, and his failures to combat fentanyl are one more example.”
“We need change,” Schultz concluded.