Free Minds & Free Markets

Trump’s ‘Tough’ Drug Policies Are Not Smart: New at Reason

The president’s anti-opioid plan is heavy on tactics that have already failed.

C-SPANC-SPANDuring a visit to New Hampshire on Monday, Donald Trump gave a 19-minute speech about opioid abuse in which he used the word tough or variations of it 19 times, more than four times as often as he used the word smart. That ratio seems about right, Jacob Sullum says, given the details of the president's plan to end "this scourge of drug addiction in America" and "raise a drug-free generation of American children."

Trump's plan is heavy on tactics that have already failed, Sullum notes, including propaganda aimed at scaring kids away from drugs, heavy penalties for dealers, and interdiction at the border. Trump also wants to intensify the crackdown on prescription opioids, which hurts pain patients and drives nonmedical users toward deadlier substances.

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