Ron DeSantis isn’t ready to end the drug war
Image via John Stossel

Desantis Stossel 2
Heroin, fentanyl concern the Florida Governor.

Gov. Ron DeSantis isn’t considering a truce in the war on drugs, if comments he made to John Stossel are any indication.

The Florida Governor suggested that “heroin” and “fentanyl” required an aggressive federal response, while rejecting Stossel’s contentions that “prohibition” didn’t work with alcohol a century ago.

“I think we’re now in a new era with this, the rise of fentanyl and I think you have to be very, very tough when you’re talking about the supply of fentanyl. And we do, we have strong penalties for that marketed to children, putting it into candy,” DeSantis said, referring to Florida law.

“I think that there’s opportunity to do more on interdiction, do more on holding the cartels accountable. But also we focus on the demand side,” DeSantis said, citing “programs in schools” that discourage “experimenting.”

Stossel, a libertarian by philosophy, then pressed DeSantis on the federal government’s failed efforts to squelch alcohol sales. The Governor refused to draw a connection.

“I think the difference between that is the country had a proud tradition of drinking and it was just something that we had done from the very beginning. Then they tried to outlaw it and this had been something that had been part of the culture,” DeSantis contended.

“Whereas I think you think of things like heroin and fentanyl and all this stuff, these have always been prohibited. So to legalize that, I think you’d end up seeing an increase in use and I think that would be bad,” DeSantis added.

The Governor has arguably liberalized cannabis use in the state, rescinding guidance from predecessor Rick Scott that smokable marijuana should not be permitted soon after taking office.

Yet in another sign he is committed to a traditional approach to drugs, he is squarely opposed to legalizing adult use cannabis.

“What I don’t like about it is if you go to some of these places that have done it, the stench when you’re out there, I mean, it smells so putrid,” DeSantis has said. “I want people to be able to breathe freely.”

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Elliott Offen

    May 23, 2023 at 3:06 pm

    The Fentanyl is colored so hopefully people don’t mistake it for something else and take it. Has nothing to do with being marketed to kids or “Fentanyl Halloween candy.” You’re just gonna fill up your prisons over some bullsht for police state political theatre.

    • Dont Say FLA

      May 23, 2023 at 3:12 pm

      Yep, fentanyl is just the latest greatest way to keep the privatized prisons and the private equity firms that own them happy as clams. It’s just another excuse to keep the police beating doors down with no-knock warrants and shooting people who are just “standing their ground” in their own home, not expecting their door to be beat down in the wee hours, having nothing to do with anything, and the cops just say “Oops, wrong house.” Rhonda and his buddies wonder why Florida was placed under a travel advisory. This shit right here, this is why. And of course Rhonda is opposed to legalized weed. Without “I detected the aroma of marijuana” excuse to search any car they feel like searching, what on Earth would the police do? Would the police have to work to do their job? LOL, the police just lazy AF ever since Tasers showed up.

  • Ron Be Gone

    May 23, 2023 at 3:06 pm

    Ronnie wouldn’t know the “putrid stench” of weed if someone blazed up in an elevator with him. What a tool.

    Of course republicans don’t want to end any war, much less the war on drugs. Takes too much power away from them when people aren’t scared and worried about the boogeyman and the reefer madness.

    • Dont Say FLA

      May 23, 2023 at 3:16 pm

      Rhonda is not giving up their police state’s golden ticket into searching any and every car they feel like searching without any warrant required. “We detected the aroma of marijuana” is the same story, every single time. Rhonda tells a story that they make Florida freer and freer with all their laws governing the private lives of citizens and visitors, but Rhonda’s actions tell the polar opposite story. It’s so polar, it’s vortex. Welcome to Rhonda’s Vortex, formerly known as The Sunshine State

  • Rhonda Isnt Ready

    May 23, 2023 at 3:20 pm

    What Rhonda really isn’t ready for is the national microscope on him and his stupid, reckless, attention-getting actions as Governor of Florida. Rhonda is going to cry a trail of tears when they realize they have no way to retaliate against media outlets that are not based in Florida beyond having reporters arrested or perhaps having the polices home invade the media folks who do reside in Florida.

  • Rob Desantos

    May 23, 2023 at 3:33 pm

    His authoritarianism is showing.

  • Look at him

    May 23, 2023 at 6:15 pm

    He uses.
    Just look at him

  • It's Complicated

    May 25, 2023 at 10:14 am

    MJ and its derivatives don’t kill people by overdose. Opioids do. If someone dies from MJ it is likely because they are driving impaired.

    People die unintentionally daily from ingesting opioids that look like legit pharmaceuticals, but are actually street drugs. With those street drugs, knowing the actual dosage is impossible. Street drugs like heroin are often cut with Fentanyl because it’s cheap, and given it is 50X the power of uncut heroin and 100X the strength of morphine, and there is no FDA keeping an eye on it – a minor change in mix ratios is lethal from one batch to the next. Fentanyl made in labs in China or Mexico and smuggled into this country has killed hundreds of thousands of people, enough to actually change the life expectancy bell curve of an entire generation of Americans (CDC says 932K dead from opioid overdose since 1999). Are people saying we should NOT continue to combat street opioids? Should we end the war on meth, too? How about we open fentanyl and meth dens like we the opium dens of the 19th Century? DOH can issue licenses.

    End the war of MJ? Absolutely. It has unnecessarily ruined enough lives, already. They really ought to allow people to grow their own, too.

Comments are closed.


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