Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam today participated in Attorney General Pam Bondi’s announcement of a lawsuit against major opioid manufacturers and distributors. The following are excerpts from his remarks:
“I can’t tell you how proud I am to stand beside you as your partner on the Cabinet in fighting the scourge that is the opioid crisis and to be joined by so many men and women who are on the front lines, by the family members who have suffered and sacrificed so much because of the pain of the opioid crisis in our state.
“Our first responders, our EMTs, our fire rescue, our law enforcement officials, who not only are protecting the public, but are putting themselves at risk even with a simple traffic stop.
“As we have traveled the state and unpeeled all of the layers of this opioid crisis, the sad, recurring theme is this: in every community, they’ve had to add staff to the Medical Examiner’s Office and add space to the morgue. That is how serious the opioid crisis is.
“I know that Attorney General Bondi does not take this lightly, and when she brings a lawsuit of this magnitude on behalf of the residents of the third largest state in the country, you’re already in the crosshairs.
“This lawsuit will result in the resources for additional treatment, prevention, awareness, additional facilities, like this, additional tools and support for the men and women in law enforcement, so that we can break the hold that this opioid crisis has on our state and on our nation.
“Our legislative leaders have led the way, Speaker Corcoran, Senator Simpson, Representative Boyd, and Attorney General Bondi who has been a national leader in shutting down pill mills, a global leader in saving our children from human trafficking and now, yet again, serving and protecting Floridians in shutting down the opioid crisis that’s hollowing out our communities.”