Florida’s Attorney General has called on President Joe Biden to reinstate the position of Drug Czar to a cabinet-level post.
According to a Dec. 19 press release, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody called upon President Joe Biden to reinstate the position of Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) to that of a cabinet post. The announcement came as Title 42 is set to expire, an event expected to trigger a massive surge of illegal immigrants across the Southwest U.S. border and facilitate a bigger flood of deadly fentanyl into the country.
However, in response to pleas from 19 states to keep the measure in place, U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Roberts temporarily blocked on Monday an order that would have lifted Title 42 on Dec. 21. While Roberts did not discuss the merits of the case in his order (pdf), he did request that the Biden administration respond by 5 p.m. ET on Tuesday.
Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid up to 100 times more potent than morphine. As little as two milligrams, the equivalent of five grains of salt, can be fatal.
Since Biden took office almost two years ago, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has seized nearly 23,000 Pounds of fentanyl, enough to kill every American more than 15 times over.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) over 56,000 deaths were attributed to synthetic opioids in the United States in 2020, an increase of more than 56 percent from 2019, and a rate 18 times higher than that of 2013.
According to a report (pdf) issued in March 2022, Florida had the highest number of total fentanyl deaths in 2021, double that of 2020.
As previously reported by The Epoch Times, 40-year-old British tourist Philip Weybourne died on Nov. 20 while vacationing at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. An autopsy revealed his death was caused by fatal levels of fentanyl in his system. Two days later, the DEA issued a Public Safety Alert regarding the sharp nationwide increase in the lethality of fentanyl-laced fake prescription pills.
In a Dec. 19 letter (pdf), Moody reminded Biden that it was while he was serving as vice president under then-President Barack Obama in 2009 that the director of the ONDCP was demoted from a cabinet-level position to that of a presidential appointment.
“As someone who spent his time in the United States Senate not only advocating for the ONDCP but coining the term Drug Czar, why have you not taken action?” Moody challenged.
“In the face of our growing crisis, I am calling on you to reverse that decision,” Moody said, adding that the “departure has left a gaping hole in coordinating our nation’s priorities and policies for drug control.”
In a May 6 letter to president Biden, Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) made a similar plea, suggesting that “returning the director to the Cabinet would help improve information sharing and coordination between departments that is already required by law, and allow the ONDCP to have better oversight of the National Drug Control Budget.”
The Epoch Times reached out to Moody’s office asking whether the Dec. 20 order by Roberts would have any bearing on her efforts.
“Our effort to hold this administration accountable for destroying our nation’s public safety immigration structure will absolutely continue,” Moody’s Director of Communications Whitney Ray replied by email.
“This includes our efforts to urge Biden to allow more independence to the position of ONDCP director by reinstating this position to the U.S. Cabinet.”