Donald Trump wants to seek the death penalty for some drug traffickers under plans to combat America’s opioids crisis.
The US President was today expected to unveil his proposals in New Hampshire, a state hard-hit by drug addiction.
A White House official said the plans would include stiffer penalties for drug traffickers including seeking the death penalty “where appropriate under current law”
The president was to be joined by first lady Melania Trump, who has shown a keen interest in the issue.
Opioids, including heroin, prescription opioids and synthetic drugs such as fentanyl, killed more than 42,000 people in the US in 2016, more than any year on record, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Mr Trump has declared that fighting the epidemic is a priority for the administration but critics say the effort has fallen short.
Mr Trump has spoken in recent weeks about subjecting drug dealers to the “ultimate penalty.”
The president told the audience at a Pennsylvania campaign rally this month that countries like Singapore have fewer issues with drug addiction because they harshly punish their dealers.
He argued that a person in the U.S. can get the death penalty or life in prison for shooting one person, but that a drug dealer who potentially kills thousands can spend little or no time in jail.
“The only way to solve the drug problem is through toughness,” Mr Trump said