In the midst of a deeply Russia-centric news cycle, one reporter asked White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders to weigh in on recent drug policy statements from Mexico’s president-elect on Wednesday.
Mexico voted to elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador as the country’s next president earlier this month and, while he hasn’t personally taken a clear position on ending marijuana prohibition, he has expressed open-mindedness to broad drug policy reform efforts and is expected to appoint a legalization supporter to a key cabinet post.
For example, López Obrador has floated the idea of granting amnesty to low-level drug offenders such as farmers who grow opium poppy or marijuana.
And on Wednesday, it was also reported that the president-elect told his nominee to lead the interior ministry that she could explore the possibility of legalizing all drugs in order to reduce drug-related violence in Mexico, giving her “carte blanche” on the issue.
A reporter at Wednesday’s press briefing asked Sanders what, if any, steps the White House would take if the country did end up legalizing all drugs, The Washington Examiner’s Steven Nelson first reported.
“Certainly we’re going to continue engaging with our Mexican partners,” Sanders said. “I don’t have a specific policy announcement on that front. However, I can say that we would not support the legalization of all drugs anywhere and certainly wouldn’t want to do anything that would allow more drugs to come into this country.”
Of note, Sanders seemed to emphasize that the administration wouldn’t support the legalization of all drugs. While President Donald Trump hasn’t come out in support for full cannabis legalization, he’s voiced support for states’ rights when it comes to medical marijuana and recently backed a bipartisan bill that would protect states that legalize marijuana from federal interference.
The press secretary did not answer the part of the briefing question about whether or not the White House would “do anything to stop [legalization] from happening in Mexico.”
Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore.