Wisconsin — While speaking at an annual conference of the National Alliance For Drug Endangered Children in Green Bay on Tuesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions called upon social workers and law enforcement professionals to “create and foster a culture that’s hostile to drug use.”
Calling the nation’s epidemic of overdoses “the top lethal issue” in the United States, Sessions — whose anti-drug stance is well-documented — claimed Tuesday that data shows the number of overdose deaths in 2016 was the highest ever.
“Our current drug epidemic is indeed the deadliest in American history,” he said. “We’ve seen nothing like it.”
Donald Trump’s attorney general, who back in May reversed policy and told federal prosecutors to push for mandatory minimum sentencing for certain drug offenses, also blamed those with societal influence on Tuesday.
Stating the media, Hollywood, and certain government officials were guilty of sending “mixed messages about the harmfulness of drugs” to the public, Sessions told conference attendees they “must not capitulate, intellectually or morally” to substance abuse and that they “must create and foster a culture that’s hostile to drug use.”
In July, when Sessions announced the Justice Department would roll back federal curbs on the controversial practice of civil forfeiture, his deputy attorney general said the epidemic of overdoses was a major factor in Sessions’ decision.
“I think it is a particularly important at this time to return this tool to local law enforcement, because we are fighting a significant rise in drug overdose deaths,” Rod Rosenstein told POLITICO. “That’s a striking rise in overdose deaths, and that motivates many of the policies the attorney general is adopting.”
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