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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