DHS Secretary John Kelly: ‘Marijuana Is Not a Factor in the Drug War’

April 16, 2017, 6:09 PM UTC

Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said Sunday that marijuana is not a factor in the war on drugs, arguing that the biggest problems are found in other substances.

“Marijuana is not a factor in the drug war,” Kelly told NBC News’ Chuck Todd on Meet the Press when asked how marijuana legalization would impede or help this fight. “It’s three things. Methamphetamine. Almost all produced in Mexico. Heroin. Virtually all produced in Mexico. And cocaine that comes up from further south.”

The solution, said Kelly, won’t come from arrests over drug use.

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“The solution is a comprehensive drug demand reduction program in the United States that involves every man and woman of goodwill,” he told Todd.

Another member of the Trump administration, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, is an outspoken critic of marijuana use, claiming in a speech last month that it was only “slightly less awful” than heroin. “I reject the idea that America will be a better place if marijuana is sold in every corner store,” he said in March. “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.”

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