Feds spent more money on cannabis prohibition and furniture in 2018 combatting terrorism

The 2020 presidential elections offer a glimpse of hope for voters who want to see new leaders tackle terrorism


Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

According to reports, the Trump administration has restricted funding for tackling domestic terrorism. Instead, more money will be used to deal with pot prohibition.

It’s a pretty bad time for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to cut back, what with the nation currently mourning the loss of 22 innocent people who were shot dead by a gunman in El Paso, Texas earlier this month. Texas’ tragic mass shootings are just one of a string of terrorist attacks committed on the United States in recent years.

Some of the most prominent attacks include the 1995 bomb that killed almost 700 people when it hit the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City and the September 11 attack committed by 19 al Qaeda members who hijacked four U.S. passenger airliners and crashed into the Pentagon, Twin Towers and Pennsylvania countryside; in addition to the 2016 attack by an American resident who committed the second-deadliest mass shooting in recent history when he killed 49 people after opening fire at an Orlando gay nightclub.

In spite of the ongoing bout of terrorism that has plagued America over the years, the DHS has assigned staff to deal with illicit home growing, as opposed to stepping up its anti-immigration tactics.

“This administration has shown that they are minimizing the issue of domestic terrorism,” former DHS analyst Daryl Johnson told VICE News reporters. “At a time when we have heightened activity and the body count keeps rising, training is being defunded and grant money is taken back.”

Trump administration’s anti-immigration efforts cost $18 million less than the Obama administration’s

Funding to the amount of $21 million was provided to the DHS Office of Community Partnerships (OCP) during the last year of the Obama administration. Now, with the Trump administration in place, funding has been slashed to just $3 million.

It’s not just funding that has taken a hit but also, the number of people employed by the OCP. A mere eight people are currently working for the Agency.

This is a major reduction from the 25 contractors and 16 employees who worked for this segment of the DHS before Trump was inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States in 2017.

“The government in fact has reduced resources to counter domestic terrorism, leaving our communities vulnerable to the next inevitable tragedy,” George Selim explained to Congress. Selim previously assumed the role of head of the OCP.

Money that used to be allocated to programs that prey on terrorists and right-wing radicals has been shifted in the direction of anti-immigrant and refugee programs. The agency even went as far as to award white supremacist groups with monetary handouts.

Unnecessary spending by the government unlikely to change until new leaders are elected

Even though cannabis has already been legalized to some extent in 33 out of 50 U.S. states, the federal government is still wasting time trying to tackle prohibition amidst the rise of cannabis reform.

To put the seriousness of the issue into context, $18 million was spent on cannabis confiscation and destruction in 2015. This is equivalent to the amount of funding that was cut by the Trump administration.

Who was on the receiving end of the grant? The DEA’s Domestic Cannabis Eradication and Suppression Program (DCE/SP). Acknowledged as the only nationwide law enforcement initiative that targets cannabis farms, the program has been eradicating cultivation operations since the year 1981.

A report from VICE News even revealed how, in September of 2018, the Department of Justice (DOJ) forked out $21 million on furniture. During the previous year, an additional $14 million was spent on security services specifically for the president’s golf trips.

Worrying as these figures may be, the 2020 presidential elections offer a glimpse of hope for voters who want to see new leaders tackle terrorism. A number of next year’s presidential candidates are pro-pot, including Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Democratic Congressman Beto O’Rourke.

Perhaps if a cannabis advocate is elected as the next president, more money will be spent tackling domestic terrorism; less money will be spent on cannabis raids, seizures and farm demolition.