President-elect Donald Trump’s latest selection for his cabinet may not be the most close-minded political goon when it comes to the legalization of marijuana, but retired Marine General John F. Kelly, who was recently picked to oversee the Department of Homeland Security, does not seem to believe that people should use marijuana unless it is for medicine.
In 2014, while working as the commander of United States Southern Command, Kelly told members of Congress that the legalization of marijuana in the U.S. was making it more difficult to get the international community to further contribute to the drug war.
He said it was sometimes challenging to look foreign leaders “in the eye” when trying to encourage them to combat drug cartels because most of them believe the U.S. government is a bunch of hypocrites for prioritizing the issue while allowing states to legalize marijuana.
“Where you stand is where you sit,” Kelly said earlier this year in an interview with Military Times. “So if you’re a Latin American, and we’re harping on them to do more to stop the flow of drugs, they say: ‘Wait a minute. As we look north, the real problem is the demand. So why don’t you do more to stop the demand for drugs…Why would we do more when you seem to be legalizing this stuff?'”
However, during the same discussion, Kelly said he does not have a problem with cannabis legalization as long as it only allows people to use the substance for medical purposes.
“I’m not a doctor, but I’m told it has a medical use,” he said. “So whether it’s veterans or anyone else, if it helps those people, then fine. Medicine is medicine. Every medicine is probably illegal unless you take it medicinally.”
Fortunately, Kelly’s new position under Trump’s controversial regime makes him primarily responsible for government agencies that oversee drug control efforts along the borders. His voice will have very little influence in the nation’s capital when it comes to whether the legal cannabis industry is kept alive or forced into an indefinite hiatus.
Regardless, all of the anti-marijuana cronies being recruited to assist Trump in his effort to “Make America Great Again” could end up being a detriment to the progress that has been made with respect to the marijuana legalization movement over the past couple of decades.
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