Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida issued a tweet on Wednesday calling for the U.S. to “Bomb Sinaloa” — he also noted that he was not joking.
The lawmaker made the comments when retweeting a post that included a video clip of him discussing the deadly drug fentanyl.
“It irks me every time I hear someone talk about fentanyl overdoses, because no one overdoses on fentanyl, because I don’t think anybody really sets out to like score some fentanyl for a good time,” he said in the clip. He later said, “it is not an overdose, it is a poisoning that happens.”
Scott Adams, who is known for his “Dilbert” comic strip, disagreed with the lawmaker’s assessment, tweeting, “Correction: Addicts do score Fentanyl directly for a high. But they tend to be ‘pros’ who have a better record handling it. The ‘didn’t know’ crowd is at high risk.”
— Matt Gaetz (@Matt Gaetz)
A video on Gaetz’s YouTube channel shows more of the congressman’s comments — Gaetz suggested that the U.S. should “get tough on the border and even tougher on the Sinaloa Cartel.”
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The Sinaloa Cartel has been named by the U.S. government as one of the two cartels largely to blame for America’s fentanyl problem.
“Fentanyl available in the United States is primarily supplied by two criminal drug networks, the Sinaloa Cartel and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG),” the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration notes. “Many users believe that they are purchasing heroin and actually don’t know that they are purchasing fentanyl – which often results in overdose deaths. Clandestinely-produced fentanyl is primarily manufactured in Mexico,” according to the DEA.
Some GOP lawmakers have backed legislation that would allow the distribution of fentanyl that leads to someone’s death to be punishable as a felony murder charge.
“Criminals poisoning Americans with fentanyl should be treated the same as someone pulling the trigger of a gun,” GOP Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana said, according to press releases. “If drug dealers and cartels push this deadly substance, they will face justice.”