Recovering heroin addict RFK Jr. has called for billions in taxpayer dollars being sent to Ukraine to be redirected to fund ‘healing farms’ for Americans struggling with drug and alcohol addiction.
The Democratic longshot presidential candidate says there is an ‘epidemic’ of not just substance abuse but ‘loneliness, despair, disassociation, alienation’ – while those in power are ‘addicted to war.’
The 69-year-old points to the thousands being killed by fentanyl and insists it’s time to start spending on the ‘crisis we’re having here at home.’
RFK is no stranger to mental health and addiction challenges.
He was addicted to heroin for 14 years and his ex-wife Mary killed herself in 2012 after a long battle with drugs and alcohol. His 22-year-old niece Saoirse Kennedy Hill died in 2019 after taking a fatal mixture of prescription medications, methadone and alcohol.
He has also been vocal about stopping the cash flow to Kyiv during their war with Russia. It’s one of the many controversial viewpoints that have drawn criticism from his family and led to relatives opposing his 2024 White House bid.
In an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com, he said that instead of ‘warehousing’ people who are desperate and alienated, he wants to start the process of ‘rebuilding communities’ one American at a time.
‘We’re now seeing an epidemic of addiction, alcoholism. But also just loneliness, despair, disassociation, alienation.
‘People feel dispossessed, and we need to start healing people.
‘And one of the things I’m going to do is to launch a series of healing farms in rural areas all across the country, in places where the only industry now are prisons.’
He pointed to the ongoing fentanyl crisis in America as an issue that needs to be taken more seriously.
‘We’re losing a whole generation of youth. We lost 106,000 people this year alone from fentanyl deaths,’ he told DailyMail.com – twice the amount of U.S. soldiers killed in the 20-year Vietnam war, he says.
‘We need to be taking some of that money we’re sending to Ukraine and start spending it on the crisis we’re having right here at home.’
RFK has been a vocal advocate of removing U.S. aid to Ukraine amid the country’s ongoing war with Russia.
‘Well, you know, we’re addicted to war. And we’re spending now almost $150 billion in the [Ukraine] war. It’s a war that should never have happened.’
RFK told DailyMail.com that the war ‘clearly’ could have been ‘solved diplomatically.’
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and his ex-wife Mary Richardson pictured in Paris Friday June 12, 1998
RFK’s 22-year-old niece Saoirse Kennedy Hill (left) died in 2019 after taking a fatal mixture of prescription medications, methadone and alcohol.
He insisted that media narratives by the American and British press ‘have not been true’ about the war.
The longshot presidential hopeful says that diplomacy must be put first, before the needs of the military industrial complex.
The Biden administration recently made a request to Congress for an additional $21 billion in funding for Ukraine.
The breakdown of the $13 billion defense request includes $9.5 billion for equipment and replenishment of Pentagon stocks and $3.6 billion for continued military, intelligence and other defense support.
If approved, Congress would put total committed U.S. aid to Ukraine at over $124 billion. The administration also authorized the sending of F-16 fighter jets to the country, who has been fending off a Russian invasion for almost two years.
Biden has said the U.S. will support Ukraine in its fight against Russia ‘for as long as it takes.’
RFK’s fight for mental health comes after his own personal struggles.
After his father Bobby was gunned down in 1968 while mounting his own presidential bid, RFK turned to drugs.
He said in a recent interview that he began using heroin to fill ‘an empty space inside of me’ starting at the age of 15.
But he says that he wouldn’t blame drugs on the tragedies of his family, saying it ‘may or may not have contributed.’
‘I feel like I was born an addict… that I was an empty spiritual hole.’
He finally got clean after 14 years of using in September 1983, shortly after he was publicly arrested for heroin possession.
His ex-wife Mary committed suicide by hanging at the family’s Mount Kisco estate in Westchester County, New York.
She had an ongoing battle with drugs and alcohol and on several occasions tried to seek help.
Her suicide was the latest in a succession of tragedies to strike the glittering and powerful Kennedy clan, known as the ‘curse of Camelot.’
She and RFK had four children together before their divorce in 2010.
RFK is now married to actress Cheryl Hines, best known for her role as Larry David’s wife on Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Four-old Bobcat joined Hines and two of RFK Jr’s sons, Aidan and Finn with his cousin Anthony Shriver (far left) also onstage
Hines previously told DailyMail.com that she was fully supportive of her husband’s plans to run for the White House
The Democrat and former environmental lawyer also addressed the ongoing ‘environmental crisis.’
He told DailyMail.com that the U.S. ‘addiction’ to fossil fuels is ‘not good for American health.
‘It’s not good for our independence. It keeps us in a constant state of war.’
He blasted how dependent the fuel industry is on subsidies.
‘I believe in free market capitalism. And if true, free market capitalism will transition very quickly off of fossil fuels.’