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EXCLUSIVE — Sen. Coons on migration and American's "voracious appetite for drugs & ... weapons"
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EXCLUSIVE — Sen. Coons on migration and American's "voracious appetite for drugs & ... weapons"

Ep. 5 — Sen. Chris Coons (1-25-2024)
Historic Senate Carriage Entrance to US Capitol. Photo: Matt Laslo

Who?

Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) — Senate Foreign Relations Committee

Ask a Pol asked:

“What role do you think US drug policy plays in destabilizing Latin American and South America?”

Clutch Coons:

“I think the amount of weapons coming from the United States into Mexico and Central America is significantly destabilizing. A bipartisan group that I traveled with to Mexico City heard that directly from President López Obrador, and every meeting I've been in — whether it's Ecuador, Colombia, Costa Rico or Mexico — we say to them, ‘you got to interdict more people, you gotta…’ and they say, ‘it's your voracious appetite for drugs and the weapons that are being smuggled down that's destabilizing our country.’”

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Matt Laslo’s covered drug policy for Playboy, Rolling Stone, VICE, Daily Beast, VICE News Tonight, etc. He’s also a new media prof. & founder of Ask a Pol — the new, people-powered press corps.

LISTEN: Laslo & Coons

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-1:43

Below find a rough transcript of Ask a Pol’s exclusive interview with Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), slightly edited for clarity.

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TRANSCRIPT: Sen. Chris Coons

Matt Laslo: “Hey, how are you? What role do you think US drug policy plays in destabilizing Latin American and South America? It doesn't seem like that's part of these talks at all.”

Chris Coons: “I think the amount of weapons coming from the United States into Mexico and Central America is significantly destabilizing. A bipartisan group that I traveled with to Mexico City heard that directly from President López Obrador, and every meeting I've been in — whether it's Ecuador, Colombia, Costa Rico or Mexico — we say to them, ‘you got to interdict more people, you gotta…’ and they say, ‘it's your voracious appetite for drugs and the weapons that are being smuggled down that's destabilizing our country.’ I think there is room there for a better working partnership.”

Coons turns to group of three passing us.

CC: “Mr. President.”

Shawn Fain: “Hey, how you doing.”

Coons and I were talking right at the entrance of the US Capitol’s Mansfield Room where Senate Democrats were meeting for lunch and an address by UAW’s president.

CC: “Senator Coons from Delaware.”

SF: “Oh, yeah. Good to see ya.”

CC: “Looking forward to your remarks.”

ML: “But that doesn’t really come up here in these talks?”

CC: “In the border security talks?”

ML: “Yeah. Right? Drug policy is sacrosanct…”

CC: “You should ask one of the three sitting at the table.”

ML: “Oh, yeah.”

CC: “There is $1.2 billion for fentanyl interdiction in the appropriations piece of it. But a broader, ‘we need to reform our drug policy’? I don’t know. I think they’re talking about a very narrow path.”

ML: “But then doesn't that just perpetuate this?”

Coons’ eyes get animated and scream, “Yes!”

ML: “Yeah?”

Laslo laughs.

ML: “Que sera sera. Preciate ya.”

CC: “Have a good one.”

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