Florida AG Moody Calls on Biden to Restore Top Drug Post to Address National Fentanyl Crisis

Ashley Moody
by Bethany Blankley


Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody on Monday called on President Joe Biden to reverse an Obama-era decision to make the Director for the Office of the National Drug Control Policy a cabinet-level position again.

Moody sent a letter to the president asking him to take action immediately before the public health authority Title 42 ends this week, “which will fuel a massive border surge and allow even more deadly fentanyl to flood into the country,” she said.

“The opioid crisis, fueled by illicit fentanyl from Mexico, continues to rage, killing tens of thousands of Americans every year,” she added. “With Title 42 set to expire this week, we can only imagine how much more fentanyl will make it across the border under the cover of a massive migration surge.”

In a statement, she said she was “demanding that the president take this crisis seriously, and work to stop the large amounts of this deadly drug flooding into our country.”

In her letter to the president, she wrote, “As I am writing to you today, the national opioid crisis continues to rage. Americans need their elected leaders and policy makers taking unified action against this carnage.”

Moody did so after U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., called on the president to do the same thing in May and didn’t receive a response. Moody points out that when Biden was a U.S. senator, he spent his time in the Senate “advocating for the ONDCP, even coining the term ‘drug czar.’”

Now president, she wrote, “Your failure to take action as President is baffling.”

In 2009, when Biden was vice president, then President Barack Obama removed the ONDCP Director from his cabinet and made the position a presidential appointment. Doing so, Moody argues, inhibited the coordination of U.S. “priorities and policies for fighting illicit drugs.”

Making the position a cabinet level one, she argues, “will bring accountability and provide the office flexibility in fighting the influx of fentanyl across the border” and will “elevate the drug czar to better serve as a check on the administration’s terrible immigration policies fueling the opioid crisis,” she said.

She also took issue with Biden not addressing China’s direct role in the fentanyl crisis when he met with China’s president Xi Jinping last month.

Moody wrote that the “skyrocketing death toll is being fueled by illicit fentanyl manufactured in either China, or with chemicals from China, and smuggled across our southwest border by drug cartels. In your recent meeting with Xi Jinping, you failed to discuss fentanyl or China’s role in supplying Mexican drug cartels with the precursors of fentanyl that is flooding our border and killing record numbers of Americans.”

She also suggested a drug czar could do a better job at protecting Americans than the president, writing, “if you continue to refuse to address this issue on an international level – where certainly ground could be gained – at least step aside and allow a qualified drug czar the independence needed to act in the best interest of Americans.”

Since Biden took office, CBP agents have seized over 16,600 pounds of fentanyl, enough to kill the entire U.S. population multiple times over. Two milligrams, the weight of a mosquito, is considered a lethal dose.

Since last March, Texas law enforcement officers separate from CBP have seized enough fentanyl to kill more than everyone in the U.S. In the past few months, Florida law enforcement officers have seized enough fentanyl to kill more than the entire population of Florida.

In 2021, illicit fentanyl became the primary cause of death of Americans between the ages of 18 and 45, with Florida having the highest total number of fentanyl-related deaths that year.

Synthetic opioids, including fentanyl, killed more than 71,000 people in the U.S. in 2021 and fentanyl-related deaths among teens increased 168 percent last year, according to CDC data.

Moody has more than once called on the president to declare fentanyl a weapon of mass destruction and has yet to receive a reply. Her office and the DEA have published numerous resources to educate Americans about the dangers of fentanyl since fake prescription pills and other drugs are being laced with it and killing unsuspecting users.

Americans  can get Naloxone, the generic version of NARCAN, a nasal spray that reverses opioid overdoses, in all 50 states and the District of Columbia at most pharmacies. Most states have provisions to obtain the life-saving drug without a prescription.

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Bethany Blankley is a regular contributor to The Center Square.
Photo “Ashley Moody” by Ashley Moody. Background Photo “Fenanyl” by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.


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