Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman August Pfluger (TX-11)
WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Congressman August Pfluger introduced the Drug-Free Social Media and Digital Communities Act. The legislation protects the safety of children and vulnerable populations by increasing penalties for distributing or selling drugs through social media platforms.
“Unfortunately, social media platforms have become hot spots for drug trading,” said Rep. August Pfluger. “These platforms make dangerous drugs easier than ever before. Over 100,000 young people are killed by drug overdoses every year in this country, and parents often have no idea their child has obtained the substances. My legislation designates social media platforms as protected zones for children, like schools and parks. This means criminals who are caught selling or distributing drugs on social media platforms will face higher penalties. As a parent, I know that nothing is more important than protecting our kids.”
The drug overdose epidemic in the United States has reached alarming proportions, with synthetic opioids, particularly illicit fentanyl, driving a surge in overdose deaths. Law enforcement is increasingly concerned about the role of social media platforms, which Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Administrator Anne Milgram referred to as the “superhighway of drugs.” The ease with which individuals, especially teenagers, can unlawfully acquire illicit substances through social media poses a significant challenge.
What the bill does:
The proposed bill mirrors the successful policies of 21 U.S. Code § 860, the Drug-Free Schools and Communities, and increases penalties for distributing or selling drugs through interactive computer services, e.i. social media platforms.
1. Protects Vulnerable Populations: Social media platforms have made illegal drugs more accessible to children than ever before, with constant exposure contributing to the normalization of drug use.
2. Consistent Legal Approach: Aligning with existing laws focused on traditional drug distribution, this legislation ensures a coherent legal framework in the face of evolving challenges.
3. Enhanced Deterrence: Clear legal consequences for selling drugs on social media platforms will serve as a powerful deterrent to illicit activities.
4. Empowers Law Enforcement: The legislation provides law enforcement agencies with the tools needed to investigate and prosecute those involved in online drug sales.
By enhancing penalties for distributing drugs on social media, the legislation aims to deter criminal drug networks, safeguard vulnerable populations, and protect the health and safety of communities.
Read more in the Washington Examiner here.