The War on Drugs loses serious traction south of the border
Published: April 18, 2012
"Research has consistently demonstrated that marijuana is a less harmful drug than tobacco or alcohol. ... The stunning reduction in the consumption of tobacco in the Americas shows that prevention and regulation are more efficient than prohibition and punishment."
"The United States has consistently put pressure on other countries and global organizations to fall into step with U.S. drug policy including using the U.S. military to fight transnational drug trafficking," says Morgan Fox, communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project, a Washington D.C.-based organization working to decriminalize marijuana. "Complicity in the global drug war was a prerequisite for other types of aid, particularly in Latin America. It's laudable that they are starting to say, 'Look, this policy is a failure.' It's not taking away from the source of income for cartels, drug sales in the United States. Until we tax and regulate it so that legitimate business people can distribute, these gangs will not be stopped. ... By keeping this business illegal, whenever someone at the top is killed or arrested, it is a job opening that they will be as ruthless and violent as possible in order to secure."
What did our government have to say about the prospect of discussion? While Vice President Joe Biden has admitted that the discussion on legalizing drugs is legitimate, he maintains that legalizing drugs would cause more problems than it solves.
Well, that legitimate discussion should continue. It should include, for instance, the people of Ciudad Juárez. Ciudad Juárez, across the border from El Paso, Texas, had the highest murder rate in the world in 2010 with 3,622 homicides and a population of about 1.3 million; most of those deaths were related to the War on Drugs or traffickers. Tens of thousands people have fled the city in search of safety. I think they may have some choice thoughts to share.
Larry Gabriel is a writer, musician and former editor of Metro Times. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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