Florida Attorney General Fighting Drug Trafficking Crimes
Kelly L. Rooth, Shareholder
Last week, Florida’s attorney general Dave Aronberg spoke to students at Nova Southeastern University and addressed the problem of pill mills. He revealed a plan to crack down on the rampant use of illegal drugs throughout the state. Florida is regarded the pill mill capital of the United States and southern Florida is the central hub for prescription drug abuse. Aronberg, the special prosecutor for prescription drug trafficking, said that “[i]nstead of Florida becoming the leader in the fighting the problem, it’s become the leader in feeding the problem.”
Aronberg reported that abusing prescription drugs such as oxycodone, vicodin and roxicodone is leading to deaths of Florida citizens at 7 each day. Fatalities go beyond Florida borders through what Aronberg calls “drug tourism.” Aronberg described the process by which people traveled to Florida to purchase drugs, use and deal them in discrete locations such as parking lots, then drive them back up north to sell and use them further. Aronberg reported that Lee County is currently ninth in the state for the number of oxycodone pills dispensed and South Florida is quickly approaching the top of the list.
Aronberg is proposing stiffer legal penalties for those who operate pill mills that close all the current loopholes. He also calls for further regulation of doctors, noting that proposed legislation will require physicians to take urine samples and limit the number of pills they can write prescriptions for.
Will increased legislation fix the problem of pill mills? Should the medical profession be subject to more regulation? How will that affect the needs of legitimate patients who need prescriptions? Drug trafficking is regarded as a serious crime under Florida law and requires mandatory prison sentences. Shouldn’t we be focusing on enforcing the laws already in place?
Sadly, the abuse of prescription pills is a common problem in today’s society. It is undeniable that pill mills are growing rampantly and transforming into new forms such as rehabilitation centers and massage parlors. Citizens who abuse prescription pills are not just those from poor socio-economic classes, but include well-respected members of society and professionals. Post your thoughts on the best solution here!