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As Opioid Crisis Continues, Trump Suggests Death Penalty For Drug Dealers

A few countries, including Philippines and Singapore, sentence drug dealers to death.

By Sowmya Krishnamurthy
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President Donald Trump has sworn that he is taking on the war on opioids. The problem of drug consumption in America has been declared a national health emergency.

That may include the toughest sentence for drug dealers. The President recently suggested giving the death penalty for those that deal drugs, according to USA Today.

"Some countries have a very, very tough penalty — the ultimate penalty," he said during a White House conference on the opioid crisis. "And, by the way, they have much less of a drug problem than we do. So we're going to have to be very strong on penalties." 

Trump said that drug dealers can harm more people and get less of a punishment than say, someone who shoots a victim. 

"You know, if you shoot one person, they give you life, they give you the death penalty," Trump said. "These people can kill 2,000, 3,000 people and nothing happens to them."

Officials shared that Trump has spoken to leaders from countries that also sentence drug dealers to death, such as the Philippines and Singapore.

In Singapore, the death penalty is mandatory for drug trafficking. A source told Axios that Trump has commended the harsh policy for keeping drug consumption low. "He says that a lot," said a source who's apparently talked to Trump about this.

"He says, 'When I ask the prime minister of Singapore do they have a drug problem [the prime minister replies,] 'No. Death penalty'."

A senior administration told Axios that Trump jokes about killing drug dealers. 

"He often jokes about killing drug dealers... He’ll say, 'You know the Chinese and Filipinos don’t have a drug problem. They just kill them.'

Trump has said that he would be "rolling out policy" in the next three weeks in regards to opioids.

The president has previously said the crisis affects the entire country.

“No part of our society — not young or old, rich or poor, urban or rural — has been spared this plague of drug addiction and this horrible, horrible situation that’s taken place with opioids,” he said in October 2017, according to the New York Times. “This epidemic is a national health emergency.”

[Photo: Getty Images]