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Department of Homeland Security Says “Marijuana isn’t a Factor” in the Drug War


Despite recent comments made by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer that go as far as comparing cannabis to heroin, and suggesting that there is a lot of violence surrounding the cannabis industry, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security says that it’s not really something they are all that worried about when it comes to the War on Drugs. It was during a Meet the Press interview on Sunday morning with DHS Secretary John Kelley when host Chuck Todd asked him whether or not legalization would help or hurt their work at the border to keep drugs out of the country that prompted Kelley to make this comment.

“Yeah, marijuana is not a factor in the drug war,” Kelly responded.

Rather, Kelley cited three drugs in particular as issues at the Mexican border and further south – including heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine. He claims that almost all the methamphetamine and heroin are being produced in Mexico and that cocaine is produced further south in Latin America – and that those are their main focuses. “You cannot put a price on human misery,” Kelley said, explaining further that those three drugs in particular lead to the deaths of around 52,000 people each year – and they also end up costing the United States about $250 billion a year.

Another part of the interview that gives hope to many activists who have been fighting against the drug war for years now is the fact that he appears to realize that incarceration is not the answer to the problems in the U.S., suggesting we focus on rehabilitation and reducing the demand for these drugs before we worry about law enforcement. After all, getting the drug dealers off the streets is a practically never ending situation because as long as people are still looking for drugs someone will be there to supply them.

“The solution is not arresting a lot of users,” Kelly said. “The solution is a comprehensive drug demand reduction program in the United States that involves every man and woman of goodwill. And then rehabilitation. And then law enforcement. And then getting at the poppy fields and the coca fields in the South.”

However, the current policies of jailing are not the way to go when trying to treat addicts – rehabilitation is, and it’s good to see someone who is closely involved with the war on drugs to be bringing attention to this for a change. While the Department of Justice is set to review and consider adopting new marijuana enforcement policies, perhaps they will take the words of Secretary Kelley into consideration, remembering that there are much more harmful substances that we need to be worried about.


  1. Ah, more on the phony war on drugs! American electronic media continues to publish in support of the central government’s phony war on drugs. Interestingly, contrary to the electronic media’s propaganda presentations, are the little people’s responses to to this hog wash, . Who gave government a license to practice medicine, anyway?

    If only the little people could be made to believe this drivel. Consider: fifty nine percent of the 2.4 million US prisoners are incarcerated because of drug related “crimes”

    Ninety five percent of the readers comments to the Virginian Pilot re: a recent piece on the (phony) war on drugs went like this:

    Failing attempts to regulate behavior drive up street prices, fund violence world-wide, and incarcerate tens of thousands of non-violent offenders while working to create and equip violent distributors. Check who funds the politicians who vote for longer sentences…a good bit of their money comes from the prison industries, the companies who build and operate prisons.

    The promotion of prison building as a job creator and the use of inmate labor are key elements of the prison industrial complex. The term often implies a network of actors who are motivated by making profits, rather than solely by punishing or rehabilitating criminals or reducing crime rates.

    Millions of dollars spent just locally, in paying police, dogs, lawyers, judges, and prisons, to put people in prison perhaps for life (!!), for buying and selling and smoking a plant that grows naturally in the earth

    Every time I read these kinds of stories in the Pilot, it just enrages me that our government spends millions of dollars of our tax money on basically violating the very citizens they are sworn to protect. The politicians and police who engage in this kind of activity are the ones who deserve life in prison.

    High prices create crime. Before 1923 you could go into any corner drug store and get heroin and cocaine over the counter without a prescription, manufactured by big phama. This article’s comments run 95% to end the war on drugs

    Over twenty years ago, the old Virginian Pilot brought down one wannabe president, cocaine addict Chuck Robb. And his goodtime, coke snorting, drug wholesaling pals. But that was then…

    Anyway, drugs will continue to be illegal, and the dog will continue chasing his tail, as long as it is profitable for lawyers and banks, and it keeps the court system and law enforcement entities employed. These stories of once in a while success by police departments are laughable.

    Of time, money and resources. The Government is full of total idiots
    Drug enforcement is nothing more than a treasure hunt in the guise of police protection. The thrill of an every bust now hinges on the seizure of personal property and assets

    The fact of the matter is that it’s very enforcement increases crime and supports an industry of jobs centered on incarceration of US citizens
    The ones that should spend the rest of their lives in prison are the ones who have thrust this phony war on drugs upon the American People.

    The horribly corrupt politicians (past and present): Richard Nixon, Hillary Clinton, Oliver North, GHW Bush and Kathleen Sebelius.

    And the corrupt Judges who looked the other way: including Raymond Jackson, J Harvie Wilkinson, Paul Niemeyer, Monte Belot, GE Tidwell, Barry Bennington and a host of others.

    And all those corrupt, complaisant government lawyers, including Alan Bersin, Paul McNulty, Janet Reno, and hundreds of others..

    And the American drug kingpins: George Sorus, Don Tyson, Jackson Stevens, Steven Bresky and many others.

    George Meredith MD
    Virginia Beach