Since the death of his son from fentanyl poisoning in March of 2015, Jim Rauh has become a warrior in the battle against Fentanyl. He found success in his personal battle against his son’s drug dealer and the Chinese supplier. The drug dealer was sentenced to 20 years in prison and the Chinese supplier lost a wrongful death suit.
He also founded Families against Fentanyl (FAF), a nonpartisan, nonprofit group of families impacted by fentanyl that works to raise awareness across the US of the lethality of the drug and push for the US government to designate Fentanyl as a weapon of Mass Destruction. According to Rauh, this designation would allow all the force, might and resources of the federal and state governments to be utilized to eliminate this most critical threat to our families, communities, and country.
Fentanyl is national security threat
Rauh believes that the cheap synthetic opiate – which has killed more Americans than World War II, Korea and Vietnam combined – is a national security threat. As the owner of Rauh Polymers Inc., an Akron-based plastic fabrication company, Rauh has become somewhat of an expert on fentanyl and its analogs. It doesn’t take much for him to imagine a bad actor stepping-up from drug trafficking to using Fentanyl to make chemical bombs or using it in drones to launch airborne attacks.
Could be used as Weapon of Mass Destruction
Rauh has explained, “I’m afraid of another 911 using fentanyl bombs or drones. (Fentanyl) is a nerve agent, not a drug. It’s a poisonous nerve agent. It produces euphoria as it’s killing you. As soon as you get this stuff in the atmosphere it ionizes and stays in the air for a long time. You inhale it, and once you inhale it, it’s over, you’ll never feel yourself hit the ground.”
Inaction is tantamount to treason
As part of his war on Fentanyl, Rauh and FAF have called on President Biden and US lawmakers to designate Fentanyl as a Weapon of Mass Destruction. “Fentanyl is the number one cause of death for Americans age 18 to 45. The government has a duty to do this [declare fentanyl a weapon of mass destruction]. This is not optional. Them knowing about this danger and not doing anything about it is tantamount to treason to me,” Rauh has been quoted as saying.
FAF takes action
The organization has written to President Joe Biden urging him to declare fentanyl to be Weapons of Mass Destruction, written to the CDC asking for fentanyl deaths to be tracked in real-time and circulated an online petition, which has garnered over 51,000 signatures to date.
Last spring, Rauh appeared in a TV interview and repeated his request that the Biden Administration track Fentanyl overdose deaths in real-time like COVID-19 deaths. “They’re not reporting it in a timely manner, which is causing a great lag in information on how fast this is taking over,” Rauh said. “This material is expanding at an exponential rate, and they’re evading responsibility by not publishing this data “… We have to have this data in order to respond to what’s happening to us in real time.”
Mother has different perspective
In the same interview Sandy Snodgrass, who lost her son to a fentanyl overdose in Alaska, voiced a different perspective. “The border is the first order of business, and the major problem that we have in this country is the open border that’s allowing fentanyl into the country,” Snodgrass said. A month prior to the interview, Border Patrol had seized over 90 pounds of fentanyl within a one-week period, enough to kill more than 10 million Americans.
FAF erects billboard in Southern California
This spring FAF began leasing billboards along Southern California freeways in Los Angeles and Orange counties to raise awareness of the threat. The billboards warn: “Fentanyl is the number one cause of death for Americans age 18 to 45.”
FAF aimed its initial billboard campaign at the Southern California region because of high demand by parents and their finding that California ranked first in the nation for fentanyl-related deaths in 2021 (Ohio was ranked 4th). This also makes sense because of Southern California’s proximity to the open Southern Border.
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