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U.S. Attorney General Sessions to visit Harrisburg

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U.S. Attorney Jeff Sessions will visit Harrisburg on Friday morning to speak with law enforcement officials about the nation's opioid epidemic.

He is scheduled to speak at 8:45 a.m. at the Harrisburg Federal Building and Courthouse on Walnut Street, according to a statement from the Justice Department.

The prescription drugs have been linked to an epidemic of abuse.

Sessions has made drug-related crime a hallmark of his tenure since being appointed to the post by President Donald Trump earlier this year.

In particular, Sessions has spoken out against states decriminalizing marijuana for medical and recreational use in spite of federal laws that continue to treat it as an illegal substance.

His visit to Harrisburg comes more than a month after Trump labeled the nation's opioid crisis an emergency. Many observers have grown critical of Trump's failure to implement recommendations made by a presidential opioid commission led by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

At the state level, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro has joined counterparts from 40 other states in an investigation of the manufacturing, marketing, sale and distribution of opioids by pharmaceutical companies. Earlier this week, Shapiro revealed the names of corporations under investigation as part of that effort.

Reversing Obama administration policies, Sessions has directed prosecutors to seek maximum penalties against most drug suspects.

In a speech last month, Sessions said the nation "must create and foster a culture that's hostile to drug use."

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Roger DuPuis

Roger DuPuis

Roger DuPuis covers Cumberland County, health care, transportation, distribution, energy and environment. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at rdupuis@cpbj.com. Follow him on Twitter, @rogerdupuis2.

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