Rep. Tom Marino, an advocate of the opioid industry, has been nominated as the Drug Czar by President Donald Trump. Rep. Marino backed a bill in favor of the drug industry limiting the powers of our Drug Enforcement Agency when suspicious amounts of narcotic shipments are placed by drug companies. Rep. Marino collected large sums of money from political action committees representing pharmaceutical companies.
Read the full Washington Post article here.
Rep. Marino represents a district in Penn. which has been heavily impacted by the opioid crisis. In 2016 the state saw a record high, nearly 13 people dying every day of drug overdoses. A total of 4,642 deaths in 2016, a 37 percent increase from the 3,377 in 2015.
The leadership of the Steve Rummler HOPE Network strongly opposes his nomination. We cannot support a politician who profits and legislates for the very same industry whose products are damaging the communities he represents. In an interview on “60-Minutes”, ex-DEA agent, Joe Ranazisi, shares the concerns of the nomination with correspondent Bill Whitaker, “He’s just not qualified to do that job. besides the fact that he pushed through a bill curtailing the DEA to do his job. I don’t understand how you could look at a congressman who’s done all of this and then decide he would be great drug czar to basically set drug policy for the United States. …The bill was bad, him being the Drug Czar is a lot worse.”
President Trump is aware of the article written by the Washington Post. In a statement earlier today, October 16, Trump stated he would be officially declaring the opioid crisis a national emergency next week and will be looking into Mario’s previous work. Trump said he would change the nomination if necessary.
Watch the full segment on 60 Minutes.