Sen. Steve Daines was trying to make a point. But the senator from Montana appears to have lost it and ended up sounding quite a bit nostalgic about the days when his state had its own “homegrown” methamphetamine before Mexican cartels moved in and took the market from hardworking Americans who made a drug that was less harmful. By the way he phrased it, many thought it sounded like the senator was pining for the days when meth was made within the country’s borders.
“Twenty years ago in Montana, meth was homemade. It was homegrown. And you had purity levels less than 30 percent,” Daines said alongside other Republican seantors who had traveled to the southern border. “Today the meth that is getting into Montana is Mexican cartel. It has purities north of 95 percent. Far more dangerous, far more addictive, and it’s less expensive.”
In an interview with CBS affiliate KTQV before his trip, Daines had made a similar point. “We are seeing a flood of Mexican heroin, Mexican meth, and Mexican fentanyl coming into Montana. The purity level that these Mexican cartels with methamphetamine is close to 90 percent. Years ago, it was homemade meth in Montana that had purity levels of less than 30 percent,” Daines said. The senator blamed undocumented migrants for the surge in drug trafficking saying that Border Patrol agents are so occupied with migrants that they can’t focus on stopping drugs from flowing into the country.
Many were quick to mock Daines on social media for what seemed to be a weirdly phrased bit of nostalgia. Some seemed to immediately realize Daines’ words may not sound exactly as he intended. Sen. Mike Lee who was standing with the group of Republicans at the news conference, appeared uncomfortable at what he was hearing and seemed to try his hardest to hide a smile, even looking down at some points in what some saw as an effort to disguise his facial expressions. “The meth version of They Took Our Jobs,” joked one user on Twitter. Journalist Erin Ryan joked along the same lines: “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.”