Honestly, it's the best argument for legalization of all drugs we've ever heard …
If you were going to smuggle a nuclear warhead into the United States, how would you do it?
Arizona Republican Rep. Trent Franks would hide it in a bale of marijuana. He would wrap one highly illegal thing in another highly illegal thing and just walk it over the border. Brilliant.
In a recent interview with CNN's Brianna Keilar, Franks discussed the president's campaign to get a multi-billion dollar wall built between us and Mexico. The theory of what implications our current border system has was brought up, and of course went from 0-100 real quick.
"The reality, Brianna, is that we have to measure all of the costs, ancillary and otherwise, and make the best decision that we can," says Franks. "But I can suggest to you that there are national security implications here for a porous border. We sometimes used to make the point that if someone wanted to smuggle in a dangerous weapon, even a nuclear weapon, into America, how would they do it? And the suggestion was made, ‘Well, we’ll simply hide it in a bale of marijuana.'"
The statement, of course, completely misses the subtle sarcasm in anyone suggesting cartels haul around deadly weapons hidden inside of drugs. Because as a country, we're highly inept at capturing all the illegal narcotics coming into America, and what better way to conceal something dangerous than to mask it with a consumer product the government has absolutely no control over. You see, it's a joke within a joke.
But wait, since legalization efforts of cannabis in the U.S. have taken off, marijuana coming into America has dropped significantly. Per the U.S. Border Patrol's latest data, 1.5 million pounds of weed was confiscated at the border in 2015, way down from a record high of almost 4 million pounds in 2009.
Suggesting … maybe … that if we want to ensure nuclear warheads aren't being brought into America, all we have to do is legalize pot on a federal level? K.
Franks' strange assertion isn't just him wandering into left field without a glove on, however. The whole 'marijuana in a bale' thing has been used before by many different people in highly respected positions.
As The Washington Post reports, Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) did it in 2007, and a few times thereafter. "He said something similar at a hearing [this past] January," the article states. "And in a speech on Iran in September 2015. And at two separate hearings on Iran in July 2015. And at a forum in 2010. And in a 2009 statement. And in a 2008 hearing."
David Kay of the International Atomic Energy Agency said it in 1996.
MIT professor Jack Ruina said it in 2001.
Harvard University's Graham Allison said it in 2007.
Frank Ciluffo, director of George Washington University's Homeland Security Policy Institute, said it in 2012 and 2014.
Point is, this is an idea that's rolling around the heads of relatively smart people that have real concerns about safety. But as we've seen with weed, legalizing something could very well be the only tool the country has to combat the fears of nukes being brought to the states by combating cartels and their supply chain — if in fact that's how they're going to get them here in the first place.
It's a simple plot line, really: No cartels = No nukes.
Can't wait to see how Netflix adapts this riveting story to the small screen.
[Cover Photo: Gage Skidmore via flickr]