Portland Declares Emergency Over Fentanyl Crisis Three Years After Decriminalizing Drug Possession
Portland Declares Emergency Over Fentanyl Crisis Three Years After Decriminalizing Drug Possession

The idiots running Portland, Oregon have declared a 90-day state of emergency over an ongoing fentanyl crisis, just three years after decriminalizing possession of all drugs.

Portland Declares Emergency Over Fentanyl Crisis Three Years After Decriminalizing Drug Possession
Oregon’s governor, Tina Kotek speaks to her constituents during a campaign rally in Portland on Oct. 22, 2022. (Mathieu Lewis-Rolland/Getty Images)

State, County and City officials declared the ‘tri-government’ fentanyl emergency following recommendations by the governor-established Portland Central City Task Force late last year. As part of the response, the city, state and county will work together to ‘tackle the crisis’ (sure!), which will include the establishment of a “command center” in the central city to coordinate efforts and “refocus existing resources.”

Fentanyl addicts who interact with first responders in downtown Portland over the next 90 days will be triaged in this new command center.

“Our country and our state have never seen a drug this deadly addictive, and all are grappling with how to respond,” said Gov. Tina Kotek (D).

According to Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, “We cannot underestimate the tremendous value of bringing leaders from different disciplines in a room on a daily basis who all account for a different part of the solution.”

Mike Meyers, director of Portland’s Community Safety Division will head up the command team, while deputy police chief Nathan Reynolds of the state’s Office of Resilience and Emergency Management will be the state’s incident commander.

Portland Police will also work with Oregon State Police to jointly patrol downtown streets for fentanyl sales.

As the Epoch Times notes further, the emergency declarations do not provide extra funding for the joint actions, and government agencies will instead rearrange current budgets to cover the costs.

Fentanyl Overdoses Rise

Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid 50 times more powerful than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine, was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat acute pain. As little as two milligrams of fentanyl can be lethal. It is also extremely addictive.

According to U.S. officials, an increasing number of Mexican cartels have been importing fentanyl from China before pressing it into pills or mixing it into other counterfeit pills made to look like Xanax, Adderall, or oxycodone. The drugs are then sold to unaware buyers in the United States

Announcing the tri-government actions, Ms. Kotek noted the ongoing opioid is impacting not just the state but the entire nation, with the deadly synthetic drug fentanyl leading to the deaths of thousands of Americans each year.

Mock sizing of a potentially lethal dose of fentanyl, on April 1, 2022. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

From 2016 to 2021, drug overdose deaths involving fentanyl more than tripled across the nation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In Oregon, health officials saw a 74 percent surge in fentanyl-related deaths from 2019 to 2020, according to the Oregon Department of Education.

“Our country and our state have never seen a drug this deadly and addictive, and all are grappling with how to respond,” Ms. Kotek said. “The Chair, the Mayor and I recognize the need to act with urgency and unity across our public health and community safety systems to make a dent in this crisis. We are all in this together.”

Ms. Kotek added that the next 90 days will “yield unprecedented collaboration and focused resources targeting fentanyl and provide a roadmap for the next steps.”

Elsewhere, Portland Mayor Wheeler said the joint emergency declarations are “exactly the type of coordinated action needed to make a direct impact and a lasting difference.”

The joint emergency declarations come after U.S. and Chinese officials resumed talks in Beijing on Tuesday regarding how to counter the ongoing illicit trafficking of fentanyl.

The discussions come more than a year after they were put on hold amid rising tensions between Washington and Beijing in the wake of then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Wang Xiaohong, China’s public security minister, said his deputy—who attended the closed-door talks with U.S. officials earlier in the day— had reached a “common understanding on the work plan” with officials and hopes the two delegations could “enhance and expand cooperation to provide more positive energy for stable, sound and sustainable China-U.S. relations.”

Senior U.S. officials from the Departments of Homeland Security, Justice, State, and Treasury participated in Tuesday’s talks. U.S. Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns was also in attendance.

Reuters contributed to this report. 

Tyler Durden
Wed, 01/31/2024 – 21:20

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