Florida AG to White House: Classify fentanyl as weapon of mass destruction

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody (Photo provided by News Service of Florida)

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody is calling on the White House to classify the synthetic opioid drug fentanyl as a weapon of mass destruction.

Moody sent a letter to President Biden on Monday in which she outlined the reasons that fentanyl has become an extreme danger to Florida and the rest of the United States.

Moody wrote that in 2021, for the first time in U.S. history, more than 100,000 people died from drug overdoses in a single year.

She said 75,673 deaths were from opioids, primarily fentanyl.

In her letter, she compared the number of deaths to the 58,220 Americans who died in the Vietnam War.

“I am not equivocating overdose deaths of Americans to those of Americans who fought and gave their last full measure of devotion for this country,” said Moody. “I provide those numbers to give context to the stark carnage that this country is experiencing.”

In the letter, Moody referenced the mass overdose in Wilton Manors in March. Five cadets from West Point were hospitalized after using cocaine that was laced with fentanyl.

Designating fentanyl a weapon of mass destruction would require Homeland Security and Drug Enforcement Administration to coordinate with the Department of Defense about the drug.

“The federal government already works to disrupt the supply chains of other chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear weapons—it’s not hard to imagine that similar tactics could be used to reduce the flow of illicit fentanyl into the U.S. through cartels in Mexico—and save countless American lives,” said Moody.

Local 10 News traveled to the Mexico/Arizona border to cover the devastating effects of fentanyl on South Florida, and followed federal agents to see firsthand how it is being stopped in record numbers.

Read the letter from Attorney General Moody below:

About the Author:

Steve Owen is the Assistant News Director at WPLG, and helps lead the daily news operations.