GOP Senators Release PSA Warning About Dangers of Rainbow Fentanyl Ahead of Halloween
(Washington, D.C., October 6, 2022) – U.S Senators Roger Marshall, M.D. and 12 Republican Senators today released a Public Service Announcement (PSA) warning parents about the dangers of illicit fentanyl ahead of Halloween as the drug cartels have begun targeting America’s youth with rainbow fentanyl in the form of pills that look like candy and powder that looks like sidewalk chalk. The fentanyl crisis is wreaking havoc in communities throughout the nation and poisoning and killing Americans at record rates. In the PSA – in order of appearance – Senators Marshall (KS), Marsha Blackburn (TN), Shelley Moore Capito (WV), Bill Cassidy, M.D. (LA), Deb Fischer (NE), Steve Daines (MT), Cindy Hyde-Smith (MS), Rick Scott (FL), Dan Sullivan (AK), John Barrasso, M.D. (WY), Joni Ernst (IA), James Risch (ID), and John Cornyn (TX) said in part:
“…The powerful drug cartels are coming after your kids, your neighbors, your students, your family members, and your friends. No one is sparred as fake pills laced with fentanyl are beginning to look like candy in an effort to lure young Americans. Rainbow fentanyl comes in a variety of bright colors, shapes, and sizes including pills, powder, and blocks that resemble sidewalk chalk… All it takes is one pill or enough powder to fit on the tip of a pencil to poison and kill someone. Over the past two years 10 tons of fentanyl has been seized at our Southern border. Of course, we know much more made it across the border and into communities like yours undetected. We know fentanyl is in our neighborhoods because it is killing Americans at record rates – over 150 people per day. This is the deadliest drug our nation has ever seen… This epidemic is exploding, which is why this Halloween, let’s join forces and look out for one another… By working together and being on high alert this Halloween, we can help put an end to the drug traffickers that are driving addiction and poisoning our neighbors and children.”
You may click HERE or on the image below to watch the PSA.
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Full Text of PSA:
Hi, I’m Senator Dr. Roger Marshall.
I come to you today not only as a U.S. Senator but as a fellow American concerned about the health of our nation’s youth this Halloween.
The powerful drug cartels are coming after your kids, your neighbors, your students, your family members, and your friends.
No one is sparred as fake pills laced with fentanyl are beginning to look like candy in an effort to lure young Americans.
Rainbow fentanyl comes in a variety of bright colors, shapes, and sizes including pills, powder, and blocks that resemble sidewalk chalk.
According to the DEA, these pills are a “deliberate effort by drug traffickers to drive addiction amongst kids and young adults.”
Even just handling these pills or powders masquerading as candy can kill a person.
All it takes is one pill or enough powder to fit on the tip of a pencil to poison and kill someone.
Over the past two years 10 tons of fentanyl has been seized at our Southern border.
Of course, we know much more made it across the border and into communities like yours undetected.
We know fentanyl is in our neighborhoods because it is killing Americans at record rates – over 150 people per day. This is the deadliest drug our nation has ever seen.
What’s worse is most people don’t know fake prescription drugs like Percocet, oxycodone, Xanax, and Adderal are being laced with fentanyl.
Most people don’t know that drug traffickers are selling fake pills that look nearly identical to legitimate prescription medicine.
And most people don’t know that just one pill can kill.
This epidemic is exploding, which is why this Halloween, let’s join forces and look out for one another.
Only let kids get candy from trusted neighbors, family, and friends.
Set a curfew for trick or treaters.
Always double and triple check their candy for drugs or suspiciously packaged, or unpackaged items.
And, remind kids to trick or treat in groups and to check in with parents periodically.
By working together and being on high alert this Halloween, we can help put an end to the drug traffickers that are driving addiction and poisoning our neighbors and children.
Background on Senator Marshall’s Efforts to Address the Fentanyl Crisis: Senator Marshall also announced the Cooper Davis Act, named after Cooper Davis, a Johnson County teen who tragically lost his life to fentanyl poisoning last summer after taking half a fake Percocet pill that contained a lethal dose of fentanyl. It is believed the pill was purchased from a Missouri drug dealer through the social media platform Snapchat. The Cooper Davis Act would require social media companies and other communication service providers to take on a more active role in working with federal agencies to combat the illegal sale and distribution of drugs on their platforms. This critical data will also empower state and local law enforcement to combat fake fentanyl-laced pills and prosecute those who prey on America’s youth. NBC Kansas City covered the story and you may click HERE or on the image below to watch.
Senator Marshall introduced the Drug Cartel Terrorist Designation Act, legislation to formally designate drug cartels as Foreign Terrorist Organizations. As these cartels continue to invade our porous southern border with illicit guns and drugs that are killing hundreds of Americans each day, this designation is needed to ramp up efforts to combat them.
Recently, Senator Marshall joined a group of his colleagues on a letter to hold the CEOs of Instagram, TikTok, Snap Inc., and YouTube accountable and demand answers on what they are doing to curb the drug epidemic created by President Biden’s southern border crisis and prevent the sale of fentanyl-laced pills to teenagers and young adults on their social media platforms. You may click HERE to read the full letter written by Senator Marshall and his colleagues.
Additionally, Senator Marshall questioned Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky about what actions federal health agencies are taking to stop the flow of poisonous, illicit fentanyl into American communities. In response to one of Senator Marshall’s questions, Director Walensky confirmed she has had conversations with Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra about declaring the fentanyl crisis a public health emergency, but did not say whether or not she recommended that to Secretary Becerra. You may click HERE or on the image below to watch Senator Marshall’s full line of questioning:
Senator Marshall previously questioned CDC Director Walensky at a hearing about the illicit fentanyl crisis that is wreaking havoc across Kansas. The questions came on the heels of law enforcement officers in Kansas City, Kansas seizing nearly 15,000 counterfeit pills laced with fentanyl during a two-day bust and Wichita officers seizing nearly 7,000 illegal fentanyl pills during a single traffic stop. You may click HERE or on the image below to watch his remarks and questioning.
On August 31, International Overdose Awareness Day, Senator Marshall released a video warning about the dangers of fentanyl poisoning and social media where counterfeit or fake drugs are often purchased and laced with fentanyl. You may click HERE or on the image below to watch the video.
Senator Marshall, along with Senators John Barrasso, M.D. (WY), John Boozman, O.D. (AR), Bill Cassidy, M.D. (LA), and Rand Paul M.D. (KY), recently released a public service announcement (PSA) warning about the dangers of illicit fentanyl that is wreaking havoc in communities throughout the nation and killing Americans at record rates. You may click HERE or on the image below to watch the PSA.
Recently, Senator Marshall questioned federal officials on the Biden Administration’s response to the deadly fentanyl crisis wreaking havoc in Kansas and across the U.S. He said in part, “Kansas is literally at the crossroads of fentanyl trafficking… With three major arteries coming out of Mexico piercing the heart of my great state, and all 3 bisecting the nation’s busiest east-west byway, we are now ground zero… In Mexico, Chinese chemists and the cartels convert these precursors into fentanyl, and lace fake pills like Adderall, or Xanax, or Percocet, or mix with illicit drugs like meth and cocaine… Unfortunately, this is one supply chain from China that’s not broken… Dying from fentanyl is poisoning, not an overdose.” You may click HERE or on the image below to watch Senator Marshall’s full opening remarks and line of questioning.
Additionally, Senator Marshall announced support for the Stop Fentanyl Border Crossings Act, legislation to expand pandemic-related Title 42 expedited removal authority to combat the fentanyl overdose epidemic resulting from drug smuggling across our southern border.
On National Fentanyl Awareness Day, Senator Marshall announced support for the HALT Fentanyl Act. The legislation would permanently give law enforcement the tools to help combat the fentanyl crisis by permanently placing fentanyl-related substances as a class into Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. A Schedule I controlled substance is a drug, substance, or chemical that has a high potential for abuse; has no currently accepted medical value; and is subject to regulatory controls and administrative, civil, and criminal penalties under the Controlled Substances Act. Fentanyl-related substances’ current Schedule I classification is temporary and set to expire later this year.
In May, Senator Marshall and Kansas Sheriffs Calvin Hayden (Johnson County), Brian Hill (Shawnee County), Roger Soldan (Saline County), Jeff Richards (Franklin County), and Tim Morse (Jackson County) traveled to the Southern Border for briefings, tours, and meetings with border patrol officials, within DHS and the state of Texas. The trip came amid the pending expiration of Title 42 and the growing fentanyl crisis that is wreaking havoc in Kansas and across the nation. You may click HERE or on the image below to watch a recap visit of their trip.
You may click HERE or on the collage below to download high-res photos from their trip.
Senator Marshall is a cosponsor of a Senate resolution to designate May 10, 2022 as National Fentanyl Awareness Day. The resolution supports the mission and goals of National Fentanyl Awareness Day in 2022, including increasing individual and public awareness of the impact of fake or counterfeit fentanyl-related substances on families and young people.
Recent Statistics on Fentanyl Crisis:
- Three babies died in Kansas City from fentanyl poisoning.
- Toddler dies in Kansas City from fentanyl poisoning.
- Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 80-100 times stronger than morphine.
- Kansas suffered a 54% increase in drug overdoses during the first six months of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020.
- Of the 338 people in Kansas who died of drug overdose between Jan. 1 and June 30 of last year – 149 involved fentanyl or fentanyl analogs.
- Overdose deaths from fentanyl-related substances topped all other drug-related overdose deaths in Kansas in 2021
- In the first three months of 2022, Kansas saw more than 2,500 drug overdoses.
- While not on the Kansas side, the Kansas City Police Department announced that accidental overdoses from fentanyl-related substances had climbed nearly 150% from 2019 to 2020 in the metro area, particularly noticeable among ages 15 to 24. Last year, out of 129 overdoses, 50 were fentanyl-related.
- In May, Kansas City, Kansas officers seized nearly 15,000 counterfeit pills laced with fentanyl during a two-day bust,
- In March, Wichita officers seized 7,000 fentanyl-related substance pills during a traffic stop.
- The Wichita Police Department also said that they recently worked five suspected overdose cases in a 24-hour period – two of those were juveniles.
- Nationwide, four in 10 pills examined by DEA labs contain a deadly amount of fentanyl-related substance, an amount that can fit on the tip of a pencil.
- Since Joe Biden took office, nearly 14,000 pounds of fentanyl have been seized from criminals at the southern border – and a record 1,300 pounds were discovered just this past April – much more made it over the border undetected.
- 15,000lbs of fentanyl-related substances were seized in 2021 – enough to supply a potentially lethal dose to every member of the U.S. population.
- 64% of overdose deaths in the U.S. involved synthetic opioids, primarily fentanyl-related substances.
- 4 out of 10 DEA-tested fake pills with fentanyl-related substances contain a potentially deadly dose.
- 12 month period ending in October 2021: 105,000 overdose deaths – 66% were due to fentanyl-related substances, synthetic opioids.
- Sedgwick County is on track to exceed 300 deaths from fentanyl for the year 2022. There were 242 fentanyl deaths in 2021.
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents are seizing record amounts of fentanyl and Meth in Arizona and Texas – in just five separate inspections ahead of the 2022 Labor Day weekend, officers seized 625,000 pills.