Hold Legalized Drug Dealers Accountable for Tens of Thousands of Opioid Deaths

Target: Orrin Hatch, Chairman of the Joint Committee on Taxation

Goal: Take on the opioid epidemic by taxing legalized drug companies that knowingly sell dangerous and addictive drugs to American citizens.

In another stark reminder of the need for campaign finance reform, corporate lobbyists are now actively sabotaging several states’ efforts to combat the opioid crisis that claims thousands of their citizens every year. Fifteen states have accumulated bipartisan support for an opioid tax that would take money from major pharmaceutical powerhouses and funnel it into the treatment programs that help addicts recover from crushing addiction.

The tax would also prove beneficial because it could significantly reduce the amount of opioids flooding into states. Kentucky, for example, holds one of the highest opioid overdose rates in the country, yet enough opioids currently exist in the state that each citizen could possess nearly 500 pills. Earlier this year, the state led a serious drive to enact the country’s first opioid tax. Such taxes would impose a fee to the pharmaceutical maker on every prescribed opioid and levy stronger fees on more intensive, addictive drugs like oxycodone. Unfortunately, just as with an earlier federal effort at an opioid tax, political pressure from big pharmaceuticals worried about their bottom line prevailed and the measure died.

With more lives being taken every day from this epidemic, it is time to revisit a federal tax on the entities that helped create and sustain this problem. Sign the petition below and demand our country’s lawmakers enact policies that benefit American citizens, not corporate interests.


Dear Senator Hatch,


This may just be a number to you, but behind this number are 64000 lives lost and 64,000 families destroyed. This number represents the cost of the opioid epidemic just two years ago. Today and every day in the future will add more tragedies to this number.

In the absence of federal guidance, several states have engaged in their own creative solution-seeking. One of the most widely supported and popular current efforts involves a tax on prescription opioids to be paid by the pharmaceutical companies that have supplied these addictive drugs in unprecedented numbers. All 15 of these measures, despite bipartisan support, face dismal prospects because of powerful, overwhelming lobbying machines enacted exclusively to ensure their failure.

In an era where trust in politicians remains at all-time lows, when campaign finance reform seems a pipe dream, and when millions of our citizens fall victim to legalized drugs that should make their lives better, you have an opportunity to set a different standard.

Reconsider a federal opioid tax that could raise millions in critical funds for treatment, curtail a dangerous supply overload that often ends up on our streets, and that sends a forceful message proclaiming human health is not for sale to the highest bidder.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Patrick Ireland

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One Comment

  1. Gen Agustsson says:

    ban drugs now!

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