Fentanyl to Play a Pivotal Role in Presidential Election, Pundits Predict

Fentanyl to Play a Pivotal Role in Presidential Election, Pundits Predict

Voters unite on wanting to end the rampage that fentanyl has taken on US soil. Despite different ideas being tossed around, from tightening borders to increasing treatment options, partisans across the political spectrum charge that leaders have forgotten about the issue.

Between 2019 and 2023, an estimated 270,000 people died of drug-related causes. The synthetic opioid, fentanyl, is believed responsible for a majority of the overdoses, which have risen to 80,000 each year. Approximately 80% of voters in seven swing states consider the fentanyl crisis to be a key factor when deciding on who to vote for in the 2024 presidential election.

According to Bloomberg News, about one-third of voters trust neither Biden nor Trump to handle the crisis. Critics claim that the Trump administration failed to allocate the necessary resources to contain the crisis early on. Meanwhile, critics of the current Biden administration blame “lax” immigration laws under the current regime, pointing to the more than 100 million pounds of fentanyl and 150 million fentanyl-laced pills seized at the US southern border since Biden took office in January 2021.

While former President Trump has criticized Biden’s immigration policies for the increase in overdoses, Biden condemns Trump for encouraging conservative lawmakers to hold up a bipartisan border security bill that, proponents claim, would strengthen the US’s authority to sanction foreigners involved in fentanyl trafficking.

As political leaders continue to point fingers, progressive cities such as Portland, Oregon, and San Francisco, California, are implementing bills to tighten drug possession laws. In San Francisco, voters backed Mayor London Breed’s bill requiring suspected drug users on welfare to submit to drug screenings and attend a drug treatment program.

The swing states of Nevada and Arizona have reported a surge in lethal synthetic opioid exposures in the 12 months through October 2023. Such trends suggest that fentanyl will remain a pivotal issue for voters until election day.

Voters across parties believe that the US should work with Mexico and Canada to combat the cross-border trafficking of illicit drugs.

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