During a recent congressional hearing held to discuss the failed War on Drugs, two leading military officers testified that efforts to legalize marijuana in America has caused many of our nation’s strongest allies to lose faith in United States.
Admiral Robert J. Papp Jr., who oversees the U.S. Coast Guard, went before subcommittee members on April 27 to report that countries like Colombia and Nicaragua are conflicted by America’s fight to legalize marijuana, especially considering the recent changes to the pot laws in Colorado and Washington, which have fully legalized cannabis for recreational purposes.
“When they’re investing so much in resources and blood they have to question that,” Papp said.
Not only do these countries feel as though the United States has turned its back on the drug war, but “the word hypocrite comes into the conversation,” added John F. Kelly, leader of the Marine Corps’ Southern Command. “We seemingly are not caring about drugs anymore.”
The hearing, which was labeled “Confronting Transnational Drug Smuggling: An Assessment of Regional Partnerships,” was held to take a closer look at the drug smuggling that despite military, financial and diplomatic efforts continues to rise up from the southern border and infiltrate the United States.
Both Papp and Kelly argued that the federal government’s complacent attitude towards legal marijuana in America has made conducting drug enforcement operations more challenging.
Over the course of the past year, General Kelly has used the disdain of Latin American leaders to express his personal upheaval regarding the War on Drugs. He says the scene in Colorado and Washington has put many southern countries in a state of “disbelief” and disappointment because they had hoped to “stay shoulder to shoulder with us in the drug fight in their part of the world.”
However, General Kelly failed to point out that some Latin American leaders have given up on the illusionary drug war and are currently exploring alternative options to combat the black market trade. Uruguay has already legalized marijuana, while there are talks that Guatemala may soon initiate marijuana and opium production as a means for decreasing cartel activity. Jamaica, too, is considering reform of its marijuana laws.
During the April 27 hearing, Kelly told the committee that the only way to truly win the War on Drugs is to destroy the products before they reach American soil, which, he says, many of these countries feel is a lost cause.
Do you think South American countries are disappointed American states have legalized cannabis? Tell us in the comments below!