During ABC News’s 2020 Democrat Debate, Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, vowed to free all drug dealers and drug traffickers from federal prison in the midst of the opioid crisis.
“What I’ve called for is that incarceration should no longer be the response to drug possession,” Buttigieg said when asked about his stance on dealing with the nation’s opioid crisis.
“Again, what I’m calling for is that we end the use of incarceration as a response … this does not mean that it would be lawful to produce or distribute those kinds of harmful drugs,” Buttigieg continued.
Currently, there are nearly 74,000 drug offenders in federal prison — more than 99 percent of which are convicted drug traffickers and drug dealers. Those accused of drug trafficking often plead down to drug possession to secure lesser sentences.
— ABC News (@ABC) February 8, 2020
Buttigieg’s plan would ensure that all of these nearly 74,000 drug traffickers are released from federal prison and that drug traffickers convicted in the future are never sent to prison for their crimes of getting Americans addicted to drugs and opioids.
Drug overdoses in 2017 killed an unprecedented 72,287 U.S. residents, nearly three times the number of individuals killed by global terrorism and 10,000 more than the number of Americans killed in the Vietnam War. Nearly 50,000 of those deadly overdoses were caused by either heroin or fentanyl.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.