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    Homeland Security Weighs Labeling Fentanyl as a Weapon of Mass Destruction

    Homeland Security Weighs Labeling Fentanyl as a Weapon of Mass Destruction

    Additionally, drug enforcement experts issued a warning about a new opioid that’s even deadlier.

    I have reviewed the toxicity of the opioid fentanyl, which officials have determined as a key factor in the escalating number of drug overdose deaths sweeping the nation.

    Now, according to an internal memo, the Trump administration has thought about labeling fentanyl as a weapon of mass destruction.

    The synthetic opioid, blamed in health surveys for surging drug overdose deaths in the United States, has for decades concerned national security officials because of its potential widespread lethality in terror attacks, and in recent months, officials from DHS and the Pentagon have met to discuss an official WMD designation as a tool to disrupt the drug’s widespread availability on the black market, the memo says.

    “Fentanyl’s high toxicity and increasing availability are attractive to threat actors seeking nonconventional materials for a chemical weapons attack,” the DHS assistant secretary for countering weapons of mass destruction, James F. McDonnell, wrote in the memo, which was obtained by the military news publication Task & Purpose.

    As little as 2 to 3 milligrams of fentanyl has the potential to be fatal to humans. Legal Insurrection readers may recall the haul in New York that netted enough of the substance to kill over 2 million people.

    The memo indicated that planners have focused only on quantities and configurations of the substance that could be used as mass casualty weapons.

    …[T]he memo leaves out some key details, according to Dr. Michael Kuhlman, chief scientist specializing in WMD issues at Battelle, a science and technology nonprofit organization.

    “What the memo doesn’t spell out the details of is: In what quantities and what do they mean by configurations?” Kuhlman said.

    Kuhlman said a chemical powder is not in itself a WMD and that it needs to be combined with some form of delivery method for it to be considered so.

    “You need something to weaponize it,” he said.

    One has to wonder if officials discovered terror plans to weaponize fentanyl, or if this is a novel approach to dealing with the cross border drug traffic. Perhaps DHS officials have considered the declaration, as it may offer a pathway for military intervention against the drug cartels.

    As if these developments didn’t trouble us enough, San Diego’s drug enforcement experts issued a warning about a new opioid that has become more prevalent: Carfentanil. It is far more toxic than fentanyl.

    You’ve got Fentanyl, which is 50 times stronger than heroin. And then Carfentanil, which is 100 times stronger than Fentanyl,” explains DEA Special Agent in Charge Colin Ruane.

    Carfentanil was originally created to be used as a tranquilizer on large zoo animals, like elephants. The FDA initially restricted it’s manufacture to just 28 grams per year in the US.

    According to FDA Spokesperson Lindsay Haake, “The sponsor of Wildnil, a form of Carfentanil, voluntarily relinquished the approval for this potent analog of Fentanyl in March 2018, as it hadn’t been marketed in at least five years, and because the sponsor wanted to avoid any potential public health effects associated with diversion of the drug if marketed in the future.”

    It only takes .02 mg of Carfentanil to cause a deadly overdose in humans. That’s about the same size as a couple grains of salt.


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    There are, unfortunately, dozens of fentanyl variants (among many other variants of narcotics & cannabinoids) which can be easily purchased over the web as “research chemicals” “not for human consumption” (right), avoiding any FDA regulation or control. 3 or 4 clicks and it’s on the way. Some are even more powerful/lethal than carfentanyl.

    The FDA has a (kludgy) process for “scheduling” drugs in controlled categories and they would have to schedule each and every chemical variant of fentanyl individually in order to bring them under FDA purview. They just can’t/couldn’t keep up with the Chinese chemists making this stuff. The number of new, previously unknown variants discovered by the toxicology divisions of coroners’ offices has been growing exponentially over the past decade.

    I believe these illicit versions are huge contributors to opiod-related deaths as they are being cut into other street drugs commonly now, usually without the purchaser (& maybe seller) being aware.

    As a recent cancer patient (now in remission) I was furious that it was so difficult for me to get pain meds when I needed them and that I needed to see the doctor and get another prescription every time I needed a refill, which happened once a week as I could only get a one-week supply at a time. At the same time, virtually anyone that wants can get anti-anxiety “happy pills” with virtually no questions asked.

      alaskabob in reply to Doug. | April 24, 2019 at 1:41 pm

      Collateral damage for those oblivious to reality. You suffer so they don’t have guilt pains and can virtual signal.

      In the street drug world, purity and potency are a crap shoot.

    PrincetonAl | April 24, 2019 at 2:05 pm

    DHS has been pushing this for at least 10 years. Whether it’s legit or a bureaucracy grabbing more power I’m not sure. Fentanyl has gotten more scrutiny under Trump for sure, largely but not always for the better.

    More than 150 people were killed in the Moscow theater hostage crisis in 2002 (I think) by aerosolized carfentanil or fentanyl. The paramedics didn’t bring enough naloxone to save everyone because the special forces weren’t too forthcoming about what they were doing (trying to keep tight operating security)

    So, unintentionally, a mass homicide has happened. Weapon of mass destruction isn’t quite the term I would use, but it’s bad stuff when enough is pumped into enclosed spaces.

    Anchovy | April 24, 2019 at 2:17 pm

    As with prescriptions or guns or just about anything, the only people who are going to follow the law are law abiding people. The problems in any system mainly come from people who are not law abiding. So…. best thing to signal your virtue and to “do something” is to pass laws that only the law abiding (definition) will follow who are not the problem people to begin with.

    If you do not see a long range game plan for guns in the current opiate “crisis” you are missing the obvious. First they came for the Vicodin but I did not care because I don’t use Vicodin. Next they came for the guns…..

    When killing an unborn human being is strictly between a woman and her doctor why should 5 Vicodin be subject to layers and layers of government hoops to jump?

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