“Yeah, marijuana is not a factor in the drug war.” ~ Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly
Good to know; now somebody please inform our Attorney General.
After last Sunday’s NBC Meet the Press interview where Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Sec. John Kelly explained to Chuck Todd that marijuana is “not a factor in the drug war,” Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions provided his own dark interpretation of marijuana smuggling and the proliferation of international crime networks.
According to the Washington Times, Sessions explained that the Department of Justice would have “zero tolerance” for those groups notorious for smuggling illegal contraband across the US-Mexico border – like MS-13:
“We [did] have quite a bit of marijuana being imported by the cartels from Mexico. This is definitely a cartel-sponsored event.”
Overlooking the simple fact that marijuana’s illegal profitability is directly linked to its prohibited status; AG Sessions called out the smuggling of Mexican brick weed as “a financial moneymaker for them.”
I returned from the border last week and they told me that quite a number of the people they arrest are hauling marijuana across the border.
After Kelly was asked by Todd whether or not marijuana was a factor in the war on drugs, the Sec. of DHS underscored the real problem – opioids, methamphetamine, heroin, and cocaine. “It’s a massive problem. 52,000 Americans dead. You can’t put a price on human misery. The cost to the United States is over $250 billion a year,” said Kelly. Bluntly adding one other piece of sage wisdom during his Meet The Press interview, Kelly told Todd that “the solution is not arresting a lot of users.”
Kind of a big deal, the Kelly/Sessions philosophical fracture is of monumental significance as the two diametrically opposed viewpoints have left more than a few hard-working Americans wondering…what exactly will the Trump Administration’s marijuana policy look like?
Jeff Sessions on pot:
Last month, Atty. Gen. Sessions delivered an ominous speech to Richmond, Virginia law enforcement officials. Light on substantive policy change and heavy on Reagan-era rhetoric, Sessions’ comments provide some much-needed insight on his opinion of legalized marijuana:
I realize this may be an unfashionable belief in a time of growing tolerance of drug use. But too many lives are at stake to worry about being fashionable. I reject the idea that America will be a better place if marijuana is sold in every corner store. And I am astonished to hear people suggest that we can solve our heroin crisis by legalizing marijuana – so people can trade one life-wrecking dependency for another that’s only slightly less awful. Our nation needs to say clearly once again that using drugs will destroy your life.
Throwing down an interesting challenge in his testimony before Congress, Sessions dared America’s lawmakers to either modify our current federal marijuana laws or authorize greater enforcement by the feds on consumption and trafficking. Cognizant that legalizing marijuana decreases crime, increases tax revenue, decreases criminal justice expenditures, advances public health, increases traffic safety, and stimulates the economy – most view Sessions’ challenge to Congress as a worthy venture.
Photo Courtesy of Allie Beckett