In response to the rising fentanyl deaths caused by the Biden Border Crisis, Congresswoman Lauren Boebert introduced the “Fentanyl is a WMD Act” to classify fentanyl as a weapon of mass destruction (WMD).
Congresswoman Lauren Boebert stated, “Back home in Colorado, almost everyone I talk to knows someone who has died from fentanyl. Fentanyl is America’s silent killer and is now the leading cause of death for Americans aged 18 to 45. The saddest thing about the fentanyl crisis is that it is preventable. National security experts know that the vast majority of deadly fentanyl plaguing our communities comes across the southern border. Just last year, Border Patrol encountered enough fentanyl at the border to kill every American seven times over. There is no way around it—the Biden Border Crisis is killing Americans. It is time to call fentanyl what it is: a weapon of mass destruction that is destroying our nation.”
By listing fentanyl as a weapon of mass destruction, Congresswoman Boebert’s legislation will direct the Department of Homeland Security’s Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office to allocate resources to stopping the scourge that fentanyl has unleashed on our nation. This policy innovation will increase interagency coordination to stop fentanyl and will increase resources for technology development, deployment of sensors to detect fentanyl, and analytical data-based decision-making. This additional support will assist our brave men and women of Border Patrol who are already serving on the front lines to interdict deadly fentanyl flowing into our country across the porous southern border.
Fentanyl has already been used as a weapon of mass destruction. In 2002, the Russian military deployed an aerosolized form of fentanyl against terrorists holding hostages in a Moscow theater.
Congresswoman Boebert’s legislation only targets the illicit use of fentanyl. It will not interfere with legal, medical use of fentanyl, as is standard with weapons of mass destruction classifications. For instance, botulinum toxin is classified as a weapon of mass destruction, but its legal form (Botox) is readily accessible in medical contexts.
Fentanyl is killing massive numbers of Americans, and a comprehensive whole-of-government approach is needed to combat its devastation. Fentanyl is already a weapon of mass destruction creating tragedies across the nation:
- In 2021, over 80,000 Americans died from opioids, including fentanyl.
- One American dies of fentanyl every eight-and-a-half minutes.
- Last year, over 900 Coloradans died from fentanyl.
- Fentanyl is the leading cause of death for Americans aged 18 to 45, surpassing suicide, COVID-19, and car accidents.
- Last year, Border Patrol seized enough fentanyl to kill every American seven times over.
- In just the first five months of 2022, law enforcement seized two million doses of fentanyl in Colorado. This is a tragic sign that the fentanyl epidemic is on the rise since that is more seized fentanyl in the first five months of 2022 than was seized in all of 2021.
- Fentanyl is 100 times more powerful than other opioids like morphine.
In 2018, the FBI Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate concluded that “fentanyl is very likely a viable option” for use as a weapon of mass destruction. Furthermore, a 2019 Department of Homeland Security memorandum identified fentanyl as a threat to national security and recommended listing it as a weapon of mass destruction.
Co-Sponsors of Congresswoman Lauren Boebert’s “Fentanyl is a WMD Act” include Reps. Mary Miller (IL-15), Dan Bishop (NC-09), Bill Posey (FL-08), Ralph Norman (SC-05), Paul Gosar (AZ-04), Andrew Clyde (GA-09), Clay Higgins (LA-03), Barry Moore (AL-02), and Troy Nehls (TX-22).
The full text of Congresswoman Lauren Boebert’s “Fentanyl is a WMD Act” is available here.