Article by Eric Boehm, Reason
A crucial part of President Donald Trump’s rationale for building a wall along the United State’s border with Mexico is that it would help to stop the trade of illegal drugs, including marijuana.
“I want to build the wall. We need the wall,” Trump said at one of the presidential debates last year. “We stop the drugs. We shore up the border.”
There’s other reasons for building the wall, of course. It would help to staunch what Trump sees as a flood of illegal, migrant workers from Mexico and would serve a symbol of the Trump administration’s protectionist, America-first policies on trade—the physical embodiment of Trump’s efforts to undo NAFTA. Beyond that, it would be a big, expensive building project and Trump likes big, expensive building projects.
Still, the idea of stopping the flow of illegal drugs from Mexico remains central to the border wall’s function. Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s White House counsel, said as much last week in an interview with CBS.
Mexico doesn’t want to pay for the well, Conway told CBS News’ Gayle King, “because they want to continue to allow people and I assume drugs, since they’re not doing much to stop that, pouring over our borders.”
If the Trump administration wants to stop the flow of drugs over the border, though, building a wall might not be the most effective policy, says David Bienenstock, the head of content at High Times and a reporter with 15 years of experience covering marijuana markets and the federal government’s war on those markets.