Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Sunday he wants almost $300 million in federal funding to fight “rainbow fentanyl” — highly-addictive pills that look like candy and could have a devastating effect on young people.
The $290 million in funds would be used to sustain 61 Overdose Response Strategy teams that would help try to curb fentanyl, including the new “rainbow” kind, the New York Democrat said at a press conference.
“This is fentanyl, this is a Sweetart — you tell me the difference,” Schumer said while holding up pictures of both the deadly pills and the tangy sweets. “Halloween is coming up… this is really worrisome and really dangerous.”
The Brooklyn native and longtime politician added: “Our drug dealers will stop at nothing, and are now giving this evil drug the morbid moniker of ‘Rainbow.’ It’s gross, it’s disgusting.”
The colorful pills have been around for at least six months, according to Schumer, who noted that 107,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2021, 71,238 of which came from fentanyl.
“We know that one of these pills can kill. That’s black and white, not rainbow,” he said. “You can ask police officers, you can ask doctors, you can ask health professionals — all of them have this vantage point that this is one of the biggest health threats today.”
The Drug Enforcement Agency said in August that so-called rainbow fentanyl “appears to be a new method used by drug cartels to sell…deadly fentanyl made to look like candy to children and young people.”
There’s no evidence, however, that the pills were created specifically to target kids, or that any youngsters have mistaken the drugs for candy.
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