President Trump outlines his administration’s plan to tackle the opioid crisis this week – a plan that many critics are saying could be too little, too late. So let’s talk about what’s in this plan. Ring of Fire’s Mike Papantonio and Peter Mougey discuss this.


Mike Papantonio: President Trump outlines this administration’s plan to tackle the opioid crisis this week. It’s a plan that many critics are saying can be little too late. Let’s talk about what the plan is. At the top of the plan, to me, I thought was so interesting Peter was he’s going to execute. We’re going to start executing drug pushers. What’s not clear to me, if you really want to execute the right ones, it’s got to be the ones on Wall Street that pushed all these opioids out into the community.

Peter Mougey: That’s the same thought I had. Are we just defining pushers on the street corners? Are we going to go up the corporate ladders? Is it going to be by firing squad? Are we going to shock them? It’s got some good components in it.

Mike Papantonio: There are some good components.

Peter Mougey: What makes it severe.

Mike Papantonio: Why does he say that?

Peter Mougey: The executions are just a little much.

Mike Papantonio: It’s this sweeping statement that we see all the time. We’re going to build the wall. We’re going to build the bigger nuclear. It’s the same kind of thing, we’re going to execute the drug dealers. Here’s the story though that really should rise out of that. Who are the drug dealers? The drug dealers are not the cats on the street corner selling baggies of marijuana. The drug dealers are up on Wall Street.

Peter Mougey: McKesson’s CEO made $126 million in 2017.

Mike Papantonio: That was his pay.

Peter Mougey: That’s his pay, $126 million. I could make a pretty good argument that he’s the drug dealer.

Mike Papantonio: He’s the drug dealer.

Peter Mougey: He’s the drug dealer.

Mike Papantonio: He’s making millions. How about Cardinal? Cardinal is another distributor. We call him a drug distributor. On the street they call him a drug dealer. Since they’re dressed up, and they look like business men, and they have MBAs, and they went to college, we have to say, “No, they’re drug distributors.” No, they’re drug dealers. Cardinal, Amerisource and McKesson, those are the three biggest. They own 85% of the drug addiction problem in this country. Now when he said, “I’m going to execute drug dealers,” that’s who he should be talking about. If he’s going to do that, I’m fine with it. How he does it is up to him, but I’m fine with the execution of these particular drug dealers because I got to tell you something, it’s going to happen again.

Yesterday, for example, you and I met with the attorney generals from all over the United States. Some of these attorney generals actually believe they can settle this without doing anything by way of trying a case, which is impossible. The only way these people react is to punish them. That means take their money. I got to tell you something. I like Trump’s idea. Let’s go ahead and execute the ones, and they won’t do it again.

Peter Mougey: If the goal was to get attention, I think that works. I think we could get some realistic attention by let’s start getting some documents in some of the congressional hearings. Let’s start looking.

Mike Papantonio: Tell the people what the DEA did just this week. Tell them about this ridiculous move that they made.

Peter Mougey: This is my favorite part. You’ve got all these plans coming out.

Mike Papantonio: This is DEA.

Peter Mougey: This is the federal government, it’s the DEA. Of all these federal plans coming out, with all of this let’s fix the opioid crisis, and here we have the DEA in federal court in Cleveland, which is where all the cases have been consolidated. The DEA has this opportunity. They keep track of every single pill that starts with the manufacturer and ends up on the street. They keep track of every single pill, and the court has given them the opportunity to give us the roadmap, the DEA. Instead of giving us the roadmap, instead of saying, “Here’s where the problem areas are,” which they can clearly do. Where are the pharmacies or the pill mills that are the problem? The DEA is carrying water for big pharma making the objections like trade secrets, and these are our business secrets. We can’t tell you where we sell. On one hand, we have all this plan from President Trump. On the other hand, the DEA is refusing to produce the roadmap.

Mike Papantonio: Who is by the way answerable to the Attorney General of the United States.

Peter Mougey: Then we have Trump saying we’re going to execute them, but here they have the chance to give us the data.

Mike Papantonio: They could give us the data. We’d know exactly who the drug dealers are. They have the data. They refuse to give the data of the white collar thugs on Wall Street who are the people who Trump should be talking about executing.

Peter Mougey: Then bring those CEOs in front of Congress and have them answer some questions with the data that the DEA has, but instead they won’t produce it.

Mike Papantonio: Exactly. Here’s the real point. Sessions, all his goofy talk about he’s going to do this. He could do something tomorrow. He could do a perp walk tomorrow. There is so much information that allows him to do that, but the guy, it’s just the same thing. The guy with the briefcase, he’s the real threat. He’s the bigger threat than the guy with the gun, I can tell you that. In America today, that’s the case.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.