Trump Nominates Drug War Zealot To Head Department Of Homeland Security

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Today, media reported that President-elect Donald Trump will nominate General John Kelly to head the Department of Homeland Security. Kelly served as head of Southcom, overseeing drug war efforts in Latin America under the Obama Administration.

“This is looking really bad,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance.  “First Sessions for Attorney General, then Price at HHS, and now yet another old-style drug war character for Homeland Security. It looks like Donald Trump is revving up to re-launch the failed drug war.”

In 2014, Kelly told a Congressional hearing that marijuana legalization in the U.S. was undermining U.S relations with countries in Latin America. Kelly commented that governments were “confused by the signals that our legalization sends, and when they’re investing so much in resources and blood they have to question that.” Kelly claimed that Latin American leaders were in “disbelief” that states were legalizing marijuana – despite the fact that many Latin America countries have legalized marijuana for medical or recreational use, or explored doing so.

Despite the Defense Department’s billion-dollar counter-narcotics annual budget, Kelly also claimed in a separate hearing in 2014 that he needed more funding to fight the drug war, saying that a lack of resources means he has to “simply sit and watch” drug traffickers as they move their supplies, and are unable to interdict 74% of smuggling. Two weeks later, this time at a press conference in Latin America, Kelly was talking about how successful interdiction efforts were in the region, with his Guatemalan counterpart extolling a 62% reduction in drug flow, seemingly contradicting Kelly’s earlier comments to Congress.

In April 2016, he testified before a Senate Committee that in the mid-1960s, “the use of drugs became literally cool as projected by Hollywood, social progressives, and even Harvard professors.” When discussing people who use drugs, he also said that “most of these abusers started with the gateway drug that marijuana most certainly is.”

While Trump pledged to respect state-level marijuana reforms during the presidential campaign, he named a dedicated opponent of marijuana reform and longtime drug war extremist, Senator Jeff Sessions, as attorney general. Meanwhile, Rep. Tom Price, who Trump selected as director of health and human services, has voted against key medical marijuana measures in Congress.  And today, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, who sued the state of Colorado to block marijuana legalization, was selected to head the Environmental Protection Agency.

“Kelly is a big-time drug war zealot,” said Michael Collins, deputy director of Drug Policy Alliance’s office of national affairs. “As head of Southern Command he demonstrated that he is a true believer in the drug war, and it’s incredibly worrying that he could now head up Homeland Security.”

8 Comments
  1. jontomas says

    From the article:

    >>>”Kelly commented that governments were “confused by the signals that our legalization sends, and when they’re investing so much in resources and blood they have to question that.” Kelly claimed that Latin American leaders were in “disbelief” that states were legalizing marijuana – despite the fact that many Latin America countries have legalized marijuana for medical or recreational use, or explored doing so.”

    They should be confused. Anyone who gives the illogic of marijuana prohibition more than a passing thought will be very confused. Especially since we twisted their arms to enact marijuana prohibition in their countries.

    Perhaps Trump wants to use marijuana prohibition for the same reason as paranoid, criminal President Nixon.

    Recent revelations of Nixon’s reasons for launching the war on marijuana consumers were found in the testimony of his Domestic Policy Advisor, John Ehrlichman.

    “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying,” Ehrlichman continued.

    “We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies and blacks with marijuana , and then criminalizing it heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news.”

    “Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

  2. HCV says

    The sky isn’t falling just yet w/ KELLY;
    (copy/paste) “Military Times”
    Kelly is, however, critical of marijuana legalization. He calls the plant a gateway to harder drugs (this notion is disputed by many drug abuse researchers and the National Institute on Drug Abuse). He does support the use of medical marijuana, however: “I’m not a doctor,” he told the Military Times, “but I’m told it has a medical use. So whether it’s veterans or anyone else, if it helps those people, then fine. Medicine is medicine.”

    On another note ; rumor is “Trump” will nominate “Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman” to head the DEA, as he has been in charge of the DEA for two decades. Has a vast knowledge of the workings of the international narcotics trade, illegial immigration, subterranean people transport systems, and will be one of the few people in the world that can end this Heroin epidemic. “makes sense”

    1. Fungi Sclerotia 1427 says

      “The sky isn’t falling just yet w/ KELLY…”

      That seems to be an encouraging sign…

  3. jontomas says

    lol — “The Latin American drug cartels have stretched their tentacles much deeper into our lives than most people believe. It’s possible they are calling the shots at all levels of government.”

    – William Colby, former CIA Director, 1995

  4. Fungi Sclerotia 1427 says

    Anyone who is favor of cannabis RE-legalization AND voted for Drumpf, is DAFT!
    (saw his present, possible “appointments” scenario unfolding over a year ago…).

  5. Acidsex says

    “Elections have consequences” – Barack H. Obama

    The chickens have come home to roost. Enjoy the suffering. We Conservatives had to suffer through the buffoon currently in office and Harry Reid. Now you will learn how the other half was made to feel. Couldn’t happen to a nicer party in my opinion.

    1. jontomas says

      How nice. – This has little to do with elections. – Marijuana arrests reached record highs under Bill Clinton’s administration.

      With all this hysteria, it’s good to consider the worst case scenario. – All Sessions could do is, at most, close down stores and large commercial grows. – The feds cannot force state and local police to go against state law and arrest consumers.

      In the eight legal states (and to varying degree in the 28 medical marijuana states) it will always be legal to possess, consume, grow and give away small amounts of marijuana. – This is the form of legalization achieved in Washington, D.C.

      So, at worst, we would all be on the D.C. model for a few years. – Then, with the sky falling nowhere, restrictions on sales would gradually fade.

      It’s also encouraging to note that one of Trump’s transition team members is Peter Thiel. He is a major backer of the Marley Natural line of marijuana products.

  6. Jerry Bisbo says

    Sounds to me like big pharma has Kelly right in their back pocket. It’s just more corruption caused my the prohibition of marijuana.

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