It only took Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly two days to change his tune on marijuana. On April 16, 2017, in an interview with Chuck Todd, host of NBC’s Meet the Press, Kelly said, “Marijuana is not a factor in the drug war.” Fast forward to two days later and Kelly is singing a different song.
On Tuesday, April 18, in a speech at the George Washington University Center for Cyber and Homeland Security, Kelly spoke more severely about marijuana as compared to his statement on Sunday as a member of the Trump Administration and statements made before he joined the Trump Administration.
“And let me be clear about marijuana. It is a potentially dangerous gateway drug that frequently leads to the use of harder drugs,” Kelly said. “Additionally, science tells us that it is not only psychologically addictive but can also have profound negative impact on the still developing brains of teens and up through the early 20s. Beyond that, however, its use and possession is against federal law and until the law is changed by the U.S. Congress we in DHS are sworn to uphold all the laws on the books.”
“When marijuana is found at aviation checkpoints and baggage screening TSA personnel will also take appropriate action,” Kelly continued. “Finally, ICE will continue to use marijuana possession, distribution and convictions as essential elements as they build their deportation / removal apprehension packages for targeted operations against illegal aliens. They have done this in the past, are doing it today, and will do it in the future.”
Kelly’s speech at GWU makes it sound as if Kelly is toeing the company “drug war” line drawn by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.