May 10 2023
WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) penned this op-ed in The Advertiser advocating for tougher punishments for fentanyl dealers who are destroying the lives of many young Louisianians. The piece also appeared in the Shreveport Times, Monroe News Star and Daily World.
Yesterday, Kennedy attempted to pass his Fairness in Fentanyl Sentencing Act to crack down on fentanyl trafficking and protect Louisiana communities.
Senate Democrats blocked the bill just days ahead of President Joe Biden’s ending Title 42. The end of Title 42 is expected to result in surges of illegal immigration at the southern border, which drug cartels exploit to bring more fentanyl into Louisiana communities.
Below are key excerpts:
“Fentanyl has torn too many Louisiana families apart. With President Biden ending Title 42 this week, I fear the problem could get worse before it gets better.”
“[It’s] not just migrants seeking to abuse our broken immigration system. The cartels are eager to exploit it, too. And they’re gearing up to send more poisonous fentanyl into Louisiana.
“Fentanyl has brought so much pain to our state. In 2021, 94% of drug overdose deaths in New Orleans were related to fentanyl. East Baton Rouge Parish’s coroner investigated 300 overdose deaths and found that 88% of those deaths involved fentanyl. In the average month, St. Tammany Parish loses 10 or 11 people to fentanyl overdoses.”
“I wrote the Fairness in Fentanyl Sentencing Act to reduce the fentanyl threshold for the five-year mandatory minimum sentence from 40 grams down to just two grams.
“To be clear: This bill does not aim to punish addicts for falling victim to cartel schemes hatched in Mexico and fueled by Chinese fentanyl makers. Like other parents in Louisiana, I want to help fentanyl victims before it’s too late.”
“I’ll continue to do all I can to secure the border and end the flow of fentanyl into Louisiana. I hope my colleagues in Washington will join me.”
Read Kennedy’s full op-ed here.
View Kennedy’s attempt to pass the Fairness in Fentanyl Sentencing Act here.