Congressman Trent Franks Claims Nukes Could Be Smuggled in Bales of Marijuana

shutterstock 59582404
shutterstock 59582404

Congressman Trent Franks has made a claim that takes marijuana fear mongering to a new level.

Recently, we wrote about smugglers ingeniously repurposing a catapult to launch marijuana over a border fence from Mexico into Arizona. But this next hypothetical tale of undetected entry leaves us scratching our heads.

Congressman Trent Franks (R-Arizona) recently expressed a strange fear while speaking on CNN. Franks is worried that evildoers will try to conceal nuclear warheads – in bales of marijuana.


“I can suggest to you that there are national security implications here for a porous border,” Franks told Brianna Keilar on CNN. “We sometimes used to make the point that if someone wanted to smuggle in a dangerous weapon — even a nuclear weapon — into America, how would they do it? And the suggestion was made, ‘Well, we’ll simply hide it in a bale of marijuana.’ ”

There is a bit to unravel here, and so many questions. Is Franks suggesting that marijuana comes through the border unchecked? Would a nuclear warhead be as light as a bale of marijuana buds and go undetected? Are nukes easy for smugglers to access? Have smugglers already identified a base of customers that are seeking nuclear weapons within the United States?

Twitter was not very kind in its reaction.

To the Congressman’s credit, he did not create the idea. It appears Franks may have been influenced by Rep. Brad Sherman (D-California). Here is a 2007 statement from Sherman:

The most important issue facing the United States, and certainly the most important part of this bill, deals with preventing nuclear attack on American cities.  Since a nuclear bomb is about the size of a person, it could be smuggled into the United States inside a bale of marijuana.

These statements by elected officials are easy to ridicule. An overwhelming majority of Americans have rejected marijuana propaganda. But unfortunately, in an atmosphere where marijuana advocates are rightfully worried, and the Attorney General is trying to link marijuana and violence,  statements like this make only make it more difficult to envision common-sense reform from federal authorities.