GOP Senator Says Biden's Campaign Strategy Is To Get More People To 'Smoke Marijuana' And He's Not Joking

Zinger Key Points
  • Oklahoma's James Lankford told Ask a Pol that the Biden administration’s decision to reclassify marijuana was a 'terrible idea.'
  • No one denies the state's been plagued by cannabis-related violence. 2,000 of the 7,000 growers have a 'Chinese connection,' per officials.

In one of Ask a Pol's always revealing hallway interviews, Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) told reporter Matt Laslo that the Biden administration's recent move to reclassify marijuana was a "terrible idea," and that he's cracked the president's ulterior motive.

"It's amazing to me the number of stories I've already read that this is Biden's plan to be able to win the election is to get more people to smoke marijuana. I was like, okay, well, that's quite a plan, ‘I can only win the election when more people smoke marijuana,'" Lankford told Laslo in an interview published Friday. "I think it's a bad idea, and I think it sends all the wrong message about the drug use in our country."

In early April, Lankford raised concerns with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) when it reduced the period of ineligibility for employment due to past marijuana use from two years to just three months. He urged the CBP "to rescind the policy and restore the two-year look-back on marijuana usage among Border Patrol recruits.”

Is Oklahoma Vulnerable To Cross-Border Drug Traffickers?

Lankford thinks so.

"Oh yeah. We have all kinds of outside criminal organizations that have moved in to be able to do redistribution of drugs in our state," Lankford told Ask a Pol. "And it's been a terrible consequence for our state."

No one denies that Oklahoma has been plagued by cannabis-related violence. Oklahoma has over 7,000 licensed marijuana growers, according to Sept. 2023 press release from Lankford. The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics says that 2,000 of those farms have a Chinese connection and that law enforcement has raided and closed down over 800 illicit cannabis cultivation operations in the last two years.

In his beef last month with the CBP, Lankford pointed to the DEA’s 2020 National Drug Threat Assessment, which notes: “Many polycrime and polydrug organizations are involved in domestic marijuana production, often establishing large-scale illicit grow operations in states that have legalized marijuana.”

Laslo went on. "Doesn't that bolster the argument for federal regulation? Or for the DEA to even be moving on that stuff?"

Not really, replied the senator.

"So Mexico has legalized drugs…how has that worked out for them?" Lankford said. "Marijuana doesn't make our families stronger, it doesn't make our workplaces more efficient, it doesn't make our streets safer. So to say that the solution for the election for Biden is to get more people to smoke marijuana, I find very bizarre."

Now Read: Biden Champions Cannabis Reform And Pardon As Election Pressure Mounts, Marijuana Takes Center Stage

Photo of Lankford speaking to the press by Michael Reynolds, Shutterstock

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