(NPR)House Speaker Kevin McCarthy traveled to the U.S.-Mexico border last week and called for more aggressive measures to stop [fentanyl] traffickers.
"You cannot tell us this border is secure when now there's enough fentanyl in this country to kill every single American more than 20 times over," the California Republican said. "This has all got to change. That's our commitment and that's what we'll make happen."
Republicans first politicized the fentanyl crisis during the midterms last November, falsely linking drug smuggling with undocumented migrants (the vast majority of fentanyl is smuggled by cartels through official ports of entry, hidden in cars and tractor-trailers).
Now Democrats, too, are calling on the Biden administration to do more to pressure Mexican officials to crack down on the cartels.
But drug policy experts interviewed by NPR say these ideas — pressuring Mexico, further securing the border and defeating the cartels — are unlikely to succeed.
One flaw in the U.S. strategy, experts say, is that the Mexican government is simply too weak to take on the cartels no matter how much diplomatic pressure Washington applies.
So we have to go on the demand side, work on all the things with education, work on treatment, work on prevention."
Most drug policy experts agree the public health model is a more promising way to save lives.
I would add that pressure needs to put on doctors and surgeons insisting that they dispense fentanyl very sparingly and judiciously. I was given a prescription for fentanyl after a recent surgery. I never had the prescription filled. The first day or so was uncomfortable, but I toughed it out with a couple of Tylenol. --CA