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Elon Musk wants to legalize fentanyl

Elon Musk | Susan Walsh/AP Photo

Twitter CEO Elon Musk took to the bird app Monday to announce he believes the powerful opioid fentanyl should be legalized.

Musk described driving past visible drug use while commuting to Downtown San Francisco's Twitter headquarters, arguing that the current approach is failing and therefore providing a regulated supply of drugs is worth trying.

The tech mogul compared the spread of fentanyl to an increase in alcohol deaths that followed the 1920s prohibition movement. 

“Prohibition of alcohol in the United States caused the greatest increase in organized crime in our history. How many times do we have to learn this lesson!?” Musk Tweeted.

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Fentanyl, an opioid that's 50 times stronger than heroin, has been linked to over 2,000 deaths in San Francisco since 2020.

Backers of legalizing and regulating the country’s drug supply contend that it would cut down on overdose deaths and crime by reducing the antisocial behavior that often accompanies drug use. Critics argue that it would normalize the use of dangerous drugs and wouldn’t curb the criminal organizations that already sell them. 

Leaders in San Francisco City Hall have come out in support of the policy, though efforts to create facilities for supervised drug use in the city have hit roadblocks over legal concerns. 

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Withdrawal medications such as buprenorphine and methadone are already legal in the U.S. when prescribed for opioid addiction, and advocates on both sides of the drug policy debate have come out in support of medication-assisted treatment. 

David Sjostedt can be reached at