During a talk at the National Association of Counties Legislative Conference on Tuesday, President Donald Trump complained that he couldn't execute drug dealers swiftly as other more authoritarian countries do.
"They have quick trials, and I won't even tell you what the punishment is, but let me just say it's very swift," he added.
According to Trump, the United States public isn't ready for a hardline approach to drug dealers, as allegedly is the case in China.
"I just don't know whether or not this country is ready for that, but the only countries that don't have drug problems are countries where the retribution is unbelievably tough."As reported by Reason, Trump has praised China for its strict approach to drugs before. During a National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit in Atlanta last year, he applauded the country for subjecting traffickers of fentanyl to the death penalty.
"You pay the ultimate price," Trump said, noting that he appreciates the approach "very much."
As the publication noted, U.S. law allows for the execution of drug dealers in cases where the defendant is linked to large criminal enterprises selling upwards of kilograms of illegal drugs, such as marijuana, heroin, crack cocaine, and LSD. However, while the provision has been around since 1994, it has never been enacted. Given the 2008 Supreme Court ruling that the death penalty is used only for crimes that lead to the death of the victim, Reason notes that it likely won't.Per Reason, legislators and prosecutors portray stringent drug laws as a way to punish traffickers, but in many cases, the defendant is someone close to the victim. In one example, a young woman shared heroin with her father, and the pair nodded off.
"Because she woke up and he did not, she was sentenced to three years in prison for involuntary manslaughter," the report reads.
Trump's approach to drug punishment is likely fueled by the deadly opioid crisis gripping the United States, which has led to many lawsuits against manufacturers of the drugs. As The Inquisitr previously reported, Mallinckrodt, the largest generic opioid manufacturer in the country, recently agreed to pay $1.6 billion as part of a settlement addressing lawsuits brought forth by state and local governments.
In response to the increase in shipments of the opioid fentanyl from China, the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol began tracking seizures of the drug in 2016. Since this time, the CBP claims the number of seizures grew has increased over the years from 2016 to April 2018.