Montana Sen. Steve Daines said his state used to have ‘homegrown’ meth, but now that it’s coming from Mexican cartels it’s more ‘pure’

steve daines
Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., speaks during a Senate Finance Committee hearing on the nomination of Xavier Becerra to be Secretary of Health and Human Services on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021.
  • A group of GOP senators visited the southern border this week amid a surge in migrants.
  • During a news conference, Sen. Steve Daines said meth in his state used to be "homegrown."
  • Now, he said, it is coming from Mexican cartels and is more pure, making it more dangerous.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Montana Sen. Steve Daines said during a press conference Friday that methamphetamine in the state used to be "homegrown," but is now coming from Mexican cartels.

He was speaking from Texas during a trip to the southern border with fellow Republican senators amid the ongoing surge of migrants.

"Twenty years ago in Montana, meth was homemade. It was homegrown. And it had purity levels less than 30 percent," Daines said.

"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 because they're producing so much of it and then shipping it into our country," he continued.

Read more: The ultimate guide to US marijuana legalization: The key dates to know, and which stocks could benefit the most.

Daines had made similar comments earlier in the week to local outlet KTVQ ahead of the border trip. He has also said heroin and fentanyl from Mexico have flooded into Montana and that the surge of migrants prevents border patrol agents from focusing on drug traffickers.

Street-level meth in the US has become purer in recent decades, in part driven by drugs produced in labs in Mexico, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

Texas Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn hosted the trip, which included Sens. Lindsey Graham, Tom Cotton, and Chuck Grassley, among others. The group of 18 GOP senators visited locations in the Rio Grande Valley with Customs and Border Patrol agents.

During the news conference, they railed against President Joe Biden for the increase in migrants, blaming the president's reversal of Trump-era immigration policies.

Meanwhile, a delegation of Democratic lawmakers made a separate border trip, during which blame was placed on former President Donald Trump.

The last major surge of migrants at the southern border was in 2019, with current border apprehensions approaching those levels. The secretary of Homeland Security said earlier this month that the US is on pace for a larger surge of migrants at the southwest border than it has seen in two decades.

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