Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. (AP/J. Scott Applewhite)
A cargo ship which has been linked to anti-drug Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell was stopped and searched before departing from Colombia recently, with approximately 90 pounds of cocaine found on board by the Coast Guard. But now, Senator McConnell is doubling down on his reputation as an “Anti-Drug Senator” by railing against legalized marijuana.
The Senate Minority Leader said that he is firmly “against legalizing marijuana,” even while this has put him at odds with his Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes.
McConnell acknowledge that marijuana is “not in the same category as heroin,” even if it is treated as such by the DEA. Still, he said that legalizing the plant could “completely transform your society in a way that I think certainly most Kentuckians would not agree with.”
“I don’t think an answer to this, honestly, is to go in a direction of legalizing any of these currently illegal drugs,” McConnell explained. “This whole movement in various parts of the country is a big mistake.”
This is rather ironic, as The Free Thought Project reported back in November that drugs found on the ship, the Ping May, were carried by the vessel operated by the Foremost Maritime Corporation. That’s a company owned by Mitch McConnell’s in-laws, the Chao family.
Free Thought explained that “this connection is not only relevant because of the family connection, but also because the Chao family has often made large donations to McConnell’s campaigns.”
“In fact,” they continue, “the Chao family has been funding McConnell since the late 1980s. Years later, in 1993, McConnell married Elaine Chao and secured the Chao family as one of his primary sources for investments.”
A gift worth somewhere between 5 and 25 million dollars from the Chao Family made McConnel one of the richest senators in the country in 2008.
The Foremost Maritime Corporation is currently operating 16 dry bulk cargo ships, most of which are currently still in service.
What makes this case even more interesting is that McConnell is well known as a staunch prohibitionist. In 1996, McConnell sponsored “The Enhanced Marijuana Penalties Act”, a bill designed to increase the mandatory minimum sentencing for people caught with marijuana.
Luis Gonzales, an official with the Colombian Coast Guard in Santa Marta told The Nation that the Ping May’s crew were questioned as part of the investigation, but that they have yet to file any charges in the case.
Do you think there is anything strange about McConnell’s war on weed, considering his family’s link to smuggled, black market cocaine?
Perhaps those who deal in black market, unregulated drugs are trying to keep drugs illegal to make sure they maximize their black market profits?