Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly warned Americans on Tuesday at a speech at George Washington University that drugs were responsible for 52,404 American deaths in 2015.
“It’s the highest number of drug-related deaths our country has ever seen … And that’s just overdose deaths,” he said, according to a DHS transcript.
“That number — as high as it is — says nothing about the long-term health damage to our citizens who survive, to say nothing about the human misery, the families ripped apart and the extremes of crime and violence inherent in the illegal-drug enterprise,” he added.
In fact, the drug epidemic is so bad that it has killed nearly more Americans than World War 1 or the Vietnam War separately. WW1 claimed the lives of 53,402 soldiers, while the Vietnam War killed 47,434.
Kelly slammed hard drugs and even marijuana, calling it a “potentially dangerous gateway drug that frequently leads to the use of harder drugs.”
“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,” he continued. “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.”
Kelly is right. It is time to crack down on drugs. The war on drugs is a necessary evil as it keeps drugs out of the hands of our children and it keeps violent illegal immigrants out of our country.