Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said Sunday that marijuana was “not a factor” in the war on drugs and said solving the nation’s drug problem was “not arresting a lot of users.”
Kelly was discussing his work to stop the flow of drugs into the United States from Central America and Mexico when ‘Meet The Press’ host Chuck Todd asked if legalizing marijuana would help or hurt his work.
“Yeah, marijuana is not a factor in the drug war,” Kelly responded, adding later: “It’s three things. Methamphetamine. Almost all produced in Mexico. Heroin. Virtually all produced in Mexico. And cocaine that comes up from further south.” Kelly said those three drugs, plus opiates, were responsible for the deaths of 52,000 people in the United States and cost the country $250 billion in 2015.
Kelly said the solution was to lower demand in the United States.
“The solution is not arresting a lot of users,” he 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.”