‘It was homegrown’: Republican senator laments that the US doesn’t produce its own meth anymore

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James Crump
·3 min read
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<p>Steve Daines (R-MT) directs a question about limiting abortions to Xavier Becerra, nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services, at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee on Capitol Hill on 24 February 2021 in Washington, DC</p> ((Getty Images))

Steve Daines (R-MT) directs a question about limiting abortions to Xavier Becerra, nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services, at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee on Capitol Hill on 24 February 2021 in Washington, DC

((Getty Images))

A Republican senator has been mocked after getting “a little nostalgic” while claiming that his state used to sell “homegrown” methamphetamine before Mexican cartels took over the trade.

Steve Daines, a Montana senator, made the claims on Friday while speaking to reporters alongside other several Republican officials during a trip to the US-Mexico border, amid an increase in migrants attempting to cross over to the US.

“Twenty years ago in Montana, meth was homemade. It was homegrown. And it had purity levels less than 30 per cent,” the senator told reporters as Utah senator Mike Lee appeared to smile throughout the comments.

“Today, the meth that is getting into Montana is Mexican cartel. It has purities north of 95 per cent,” he continued.

“Far more dangerous, far more addictive, and it’s less expensive because they’re producing so much of it and then shipping it into our country,” Mr Daines added.

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He argued that the illegal drugs are a product of illegal immigration, and later seemingly blamed President Joe Biden, who has been in office for just over two months, tweeting: “We must end the #BidenBorderCrisis now.”

The senator made similar comments during an interview with Montana TV station KTVQ earlier in the week, as he prepared to make the trip to Texas with his colleagues.

“We are seeing a flood of Mexican heroin, Mexican meth, and Mexican fentanyl coming into Montana,” Mr Daines said in the interview on Thursday.

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“The purity level that these Mexican cartels with methamphetamine is close to 90 per cent. Years ago, it was homemade meth in Montana that had purity levels of less than 30 per cent,” he added.

Although The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that methamphetamine has become stronger in the US over the last decade after being manufactured in Mexican labs, there is no evidence that it is being transported to the country by migrants, who attempt to cross the border for a better life or to escape violence and oppression.

Following a video of Mr Daine’s comments being uploaded to social media on Friday evening, users were perplexed with the tone of the senator’s interview.

“Steve Daines is upset that Mexico has usurped good old American meth with purer product.” author Helen Kennedy tweeted along with a video of Mr Daine’s comments, as political account, The Recount, said the senator was getting “a little nostalgic”.

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Twitter user @rewegreatyet added: “The meth version of They Took Our Jobs,” while journalist Erin Ryan joked: “My dad was a meth farmer, and his dad was a meth farmer, and thanks to cheap imports last year they had to declare bankruptcy and sell the meth farm.”

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Several Republican senators took aim at Mr Biden during the press conference on Friday, as they claimed that the president reversing immigration policies from the Trump administration has led to the surge in migrants.

However, a similar surge in migrants attempting to reach the US was recorded in 2019 while Donald Trump was the president, according to Insider.

The Independent has contacted Mr Daines for comment.