Arizona Republican congressman Trent Franks made a controversial statement on Wednesday in defense of President Trump’s $21 billion dollar wall that would be a barrier to Mexico. Franks proposes that the border wall will protect America from nuclear weapons being smuggled into the country in bales of marijuana. It seems too preposterous to be real. However it’s become difficult today to determine what’s really being said by a politician and what is taken from the script of a comedy skit. This latest comment was said to CNN’s Brianna Keilar when she asked about the border wall.
“The reality, Brianna, is that we have to measure all of the costs, ancillary and otherwise, and make the best decision that we can,” Franks offered. “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.’”
A History of Blaming Terrorism on Marijuana Bales
This isn’t the first time Franks has talked about the possibility of nuclear weapons being smuggled into the country in marijuana bales. He brought the idea of Hezbollah, a terrorist proxy from Iran, bringing 2 nuclear warheads into the U.S. in bales of marijuana in a 2012 speech he gave on the House floor. He dove into the scenario, describing to the House how Hezbollah would call the White House and describe what cities he planted the nukes in, detonating them 60 seconds later. This elaborate fantasy of Franks’ now surfaces again after 5 years.
Other Politicians Citing the Concealing Ability of Marijuana Bales
It’s unclear exactly where Franks is getting his ideas from. He even acknowledges that there is no talk or proof of nuclear weapons loose in Mexico. There’s also no explanation for why anyone would choose to smuggle nuclear weapons into the country through border control in bales of marijuana, a high risk substance in itself. Amazingly enough, Frank is not the only politician to suggest that nuclear weapons can be smuggled in bales of marijuana. Rep. Brad Sherman has brought it up several times at congressional hearings and in discussions with The Washington Post. So did Frank Ciluffo, director of George Washington University’s Homeland Security Policy Institute in 2014.
The idea is that drug lords are so good at smuggling marijuana, that if they simply add another item to their shipment they would be successful in transporting that nuclear weapon. It’s still unclear why drug lords wouldn’t choose a less conspicuous substance to hide their weapons of mass destruction. The other issue with this scenario is the fact that medical marijuana is now legal in 29 states and recreational marijuana is legal in 8 states, 1/5 of the country. The need for marijuana smuggling is becoming a thing of the past. Also, since there is no news either now or in the past of any nuclear weapons floating around Mexico, the entire “threat” which has been kicking around for years now from the mouths of those like Franks, is totally mute. At least it got a few laughs.