Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says drug trafficking from Mexico isn't being driven by a demand for medicinal marijuana in California and other states that have legalized medical use.
Clinton appeared in Mexico City Tuesday with her Mexican counterpart, Patricia Espinosa, to discuss remedies for cross-border drug smuggling and the scourge of violence in Mexico. She was asked by a Mexican journalist what the U.S. government is doing about states that permit medical marijuana.
She said medical pot in places such as California - where dispensaries advertise product from in-state patient growers - has little connection to pot being trafficked across the border.
"We do not see this as a major contributor to the continuing flow of marijuana, the vast, vast majority of which is used for recreational purposes," she said.
Attorney General Eric Holder has announced he won't target legitimate medical marijuana patients or cultivators in states where medicinal use is legal. But Clinton said the administration is enforcing federal laws "where there is any evidence that use of the medical marijuana is not tightly controlled and contained to those people for whom it is a medical substance."
Tim Johnson, the Mexico City bureau chief for McClatchy Newspapers (including The Sacramento Bee), reported that Clinton and Espinosa announced combined efforts against cross-border money laundering and weapons traffic. The cooperation will include information sharing at the San Diego-Tijuana border area.
To read Johnson's report, click here.
Pictured: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appears with Mexican counterpart Patricia Espinosa in Tuesday's press conference in Mexico City. Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images.