The massive amount of drug users in America contributes to our problems securing the border, said DHS Secretary John Kelly this weekend.
The Department of Homeland Security hasn't typically led the war on illegal drugs, but Kelly has a long-standing interest in fighting drug cartels and improving Americans’ lives.
As head of the DHS, he has made it a top priority to stem the flow of drugs into the country from Central America and Mexico. This weekend, he suggested that the legalization of marijuana would have no effect on his efforts to do so.
“Marijuana is not a factor in the drug world,” he told NBC’s Chuck Todd when asked if the legalization of marijuana would help or hinder his efforts securing the border. His words represent a sharp contrast to Trump and Sessions, who have been tough on marijuana.
The real problem consists of “three things,” said Kelly, “methamphetamines, almost all produced in Mexico, heroine, virtually all produced in Mexico, and cocaine, that comes up from further south.”
From 2015-2016, those three drugs were responsible for the deaths of 52,000 Americans. “It’s a massive problem; 52,000 Americans dead, you can’t put a price on the human misery, the cost to the United States is over $250 billion per year,” said Kelly.
The former head of US Southern Command insists that arresting drug users isn’t the best solution. Instead, we must develop “a comprehensive drug demand reduction program in the United States that involves every man and women of good will, and then rehabilitation, and then law enforcement, and then getting at the poppy fields…in the south.”
Kelly says he is happy with Trump’s response to his crackdown on illegal drugs. “I got almost no interest from the last administration, as much as I railed about it." He admits the DHS doesn't typically focus on drugs, but that he’s tackling the problem because nobody else is.
“While keeping drugs out of the US is a central concern for DHS, the bigger one for traffickers and cartels is exporting money they make in the US, which is where DHS can intervene,” reports the Washington Examiner.
“The trafficker’s biggest problem is not getting drugs, till now, into the United States. The biggest problem they had was laundering the money,” said Kelly.
Editor's note: Call me old fashion, but I still believe marijuana is a gateway drug, and the states that have legalized it will have huge problems. The "slippery slope" theory says marijuana will be legal most places within a generation.