Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody has called on Joe Biden to have the federal government declare fentanyl a weapon of mass destruction under federal law.
As the increasing trend of deadly overdoses from the drug continues and following two mass overdose incidents in Florida, Moody wrote to Biden on Monday to use his executive power or call on Congress to make the declaration.
That would trigger increased involvement by federal agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, the Pentagon, and the Department of Justice.
Fox News obtained a copy of the letter that says the nation needs the combined efforts of the entire federal government and all of its capabilities to “stop the death and destruction that fentanyl is causing.”
Federal law defines a weapon of mass destruction as a “nuclear, radiological, chemical, biological, or other devices that are intended to harm a large number of people.” Moody referenced previous assessments made by government agencies declaring fentanyl to be a “viable option” as a chemical weapon.
Moody said that the ready availability of the drug to criminal actors and Mexican cartels increases the likelihood that it will be used as a chemical weapon. She added that expecting criminal organizations to behave rationally is “a losing proposition.”
U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents seized more than 10,000 pounds of fentanyl coming into the country across the southern border last fiscal year. That is more than twice the amount seized in fiscal year 2020 and almost four times as much as in fiscal year 2019.
Fentanyl is up to 100 times more potent than morphine and is often fatal even in tiny amounts.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration warned law enforcement agencies at all levels earlier this year of a nationwide spike in fentanyl overdoses. The DEA cited statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showing that in the 12-month period ending last October, there were over 105,000 drug overdoses in the country. Almost two-thirds of those were related to fentanyl and similar synthetic opioids.
Deadly fentanyl overdoses often occur when a user is not aware they are taking the drug, which is often laced into other illicit drugs.
Moody also demanded that Biden discuss the fentanyl crisis with Mexican President Andres Manuel Obrador. Law enforcement agents have determined that most fentanyl hitting American streets is manufactured in Mexico using raw materials smuggled in from China.
Moody told Fox News this week that Border Patrol agents have seized enough fentanyl to kill every U.S. resident “many times over.” She said that the federal government acts to disrupt the distribution and production of other chemical and biological weapons, and that similar tactics could be used to reduce the flow of fentanyl.