Ron: Wisconsin drug problem directly related to border security

Ron “is taking a multi-pronged approach in fighting heroin in America and in our state,” and said that the rise in deaths due to heroin is directly related to border security.

From 620 WTMJ:

Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron Johnson is taking a multi-pronged approach in fighting heroin in America and in our state.
Johnson is supporting legislation sponsored by Wisconsin Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin on the addiction side of heroin and opioids.
However, the man who chairs the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs is attacking the supply side of the deadly economics involved with the addictive drugs – particularly the supply from Mexico.
Johnson says that the inescapable conclusion from his committee’s 15 hearings on border securiy is that “our borders are not secure.”
To him, there’s a direct correlation between that and heroin issue in our state.
“The rise in heroin-related deaths in Wisconsin is directly related to the insecurity of our borders,” he said to WTMJ’s Charlie Sykes Thursday. The issue is personal for Johnson, as he lost his nephew due to a heroin overdose.
“In our more than 100-page report based on our 15 hearings on border security, among many cases, I’ve concluded that the root cause of our insecure border is America’s insatiable demand for drugs…it’s given rise to these drugs cartels, some particularly evil people. They control whatever part of the Mexican side of the border they want to control. They’re destroying public institutions throughout central America.”

From Right Wisconsin:

U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-Oshkosh) joined Charlie Sykes on Thursday to discuss a recently released report from the committee he chairs, the Senate Homeland Security and Government Oversight Committee. In the report, Johnson lays out his belief that much of America’s border security problems can be traced to its issues with drug addiction; particularly heroin abuse.

“In our over 100 page report, based on our 15 hearings on border security,” said Johnson, “among many causes, I’ve concluded that our root cause of our unsecured border is America’s insatiable demand for drugs. Because, it’s given rise to these drug cartels; some particularly evil people. They control whatever side of the Mexican border they want to control.”

Johnson Gen. John F. Kelly, the former commander of the U.S. Southern Command, testified recently that the U.S. Border Patrol is only able to stop five percent of the drug trade which originates from Latin American countries.

“As Gen. Kelly said, if you’ve got the profit motive, that demand will be filled,” said Johnson. “Now Charlie, if you want a metric into how completely¬†impotent we’ve been in terms of stopping…winning the war on drugs? In 1981, the price of heroin was $3,260 per gram. Over $3,000 per gram; apparently you can now buy heroin for $100 a gram in Milwaukee.”

“You get 10 hits a gram. Basically, you get heroin for the price of a good craft beer at a fancy restaurant. That’s why we’re experiencing this surge in heroin overdoses.” (Watch Sen. Johnson question General Kelly here .)

Johnson suggested the solution would be a combination of tougher border security, with increased manpower and a need to tackle the demand side of the equation in combating the war on drugs. He suggested the public campaign against tobacco use as a template.

“We’ve been pretty effective in reducing tobacco use through a concerted effort of long-term education, into our schools, on TV” comment Johnson. “We need to commit ourselves to that same effort to dissuade all Americans; but particularly our young people, to never taking drugs. Because once you’re addicted, you understand how incredibly difficult it is to break that addiction.”

On the political front, Sen. Johnson said this fall’s campaign rematch between former Sen. Russ Feingold will be a referendum on size and scope of government. Johnson said Russ Feingold has never seen a tax increase he didn’t like or a government program he didn’t support.

Johnson also said that the structural changes in the state Republican Party will aid him in his re-election bid.

“Last Tuesday, 1.1 million Republicans voted in the primary compared with just under a million Democrats,” commented Johnson. “We’ve got a stronger party structure from when I ran in 2010. We have five House Republicans versus three. We actually have control over the state Assembly, state Senate, and governorship. We’re in a much stronger position here, and Charlie, I have a winning message.”