AP NEWS

Bad guys winning the drug war

August 5, 2018 GMT

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Americans need Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ help.

First responders and health care workers in the District have tackled an estimated 130 calls of people overdosing, falling seriously or dying since Saturday. Like drug users and abusers in other localities, many of the victims of these chemical concoctions were frothing at the mouth, and acting like zombies or psychotic.

One of the largest demographics struck hard was around the homeless shelter near Union Station at Second and D streets NW, the very site Ronald Reagan helped establish in the mid-1980s.

It’s no coincidence that New York City, Chicago and Lancaster, Pennsylvania, have been hit with what officials there are blaming on “bad batches” of “synthetic marijuana.”

Facts are, it ain’t even weed.

Nonetheless, there’s a nefarious thread.

Drug pushers hit New York City, where police alerted residents to a particularly toxic batch of fake weed that was making the rounds, leaving about 150 people violently ill in May. Many of the users were at homeless shelters.

This winter in the Chicago area, four people died and others were sickened by the chemical junk.

And in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, of all places, at least 100 people overdosed on the chemical concoctions, which go by the monikers “K2” or “Spice,” among other street-brand names.

In those four areas alone, scores upon scores of people have been hospitalized for such symptoms as unexplained bleeding and psychotic episodes. At least four fatalities in the D.C. cases are suspected of being tied to a “bad batch.”

Officials with the Department of Fire and Emergency Services said they are trying to inform the public in general as well as vulnerable populations about the potential threat.

Also, the mayor will likely have her act together in the next day or two about how she’ll be handling the aftermath.

D.C. health officials said it’s important that users of these various illegal chemical concoctions, or fake weed, stay hydrated as dehydration worsens the body’s reaction.

Small wonder there weren’t more deaths, considering the city was on a boil-water health alert most of the weekend.

In the meantime, local and federal law enforcers must take the lead, wield their hammers like Thor and help Americans to avenge the scourge of the drug trade.

To be sure, the benefactors of these illicit drug compounds are not the huge pharmaceutical companies bearing the brunt of the opioid crisis.

The folks who make the big bucks of street drugs like fake weed, methamphetamine, heroin and the like are people who drive up and down the I-95 corridor and the “business” people who stock the deadly crap in their “convenience” stores.

Americans know that’s the truth.

The question is where are Americans going to draw the line.

Are Americans going to continue considering drug overdoses a mere public health crisis?

Or Americans going to call in the cavalry to help lock up the true enablers of the drug scourge?

Mr. Sessions and local law enforcers will do as we instruct, remember?

If we don’t willfully green light them, only drug users and their families will pay the price and the bad guys will win.

Deborah Simmons can be contacted at dsimmons@washingtontimes.com.