Published: Jan 29, 2018, 12:00 pm • Updated: Jan 29, 2018, 12:00 pm
The use of illegal narcotics in the United States has varied over the years, but by many accounts – including the president’s – the nation has never been so high on drugs.
Seizures of methamphetamine and heroin at the Mexican border have surged. Cocaine use is spiking again. The opioid epidemic has pushed overdose deaths past 60,000 per year, a record.
“We used to have the ‘Age of Aquarius.’ Everyone thought that was a big drug age,” President Donald Trump said this month, evoking the 1960s counterculture. “That was nothing compared to this.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is set to deliver a speech Monday in Pittsburgh on two of his signature issues: violent crime and the opioid epidemic. He has implemented a tough new charging and sentencing policy, urging federal prosecutors to use every available tool to crack down on violence. And late last year he announced that anyone who possesses, imports, distributes or manufactures fentanyl – a powerful synthetic opioid – can face criminal prosecution.
The president and his attorney general have blamed the drug boom for “American carnage,” but the latest crime statistics suggest that the relationship between illegal narcotics and violence in U.S. cities is not