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32 Responses to Mexico: Gun Control + American Drug Prohibition = Incalculable Suffering

    • Robert didn’t want to post just a headline, apparently.

      The point stands, though. The drug cartels are making money because drugs are illegal. The street value of the drugs would plummet if they were legalized. Then the ones making money off of them would be the pharmaceutical companies and large agricultural companies.

      The vast majority of the violence surrounding these markets would immediately disappear, just like it did around alcohol prohibition. Back in those times, if a couple distillers had a dispute, they settled it with guns. Now they settle it in the courts. The same will happen with crack distributors. Why shoot someone and risk going to prison when you can just sue them?

      • So we trade in the suppliers of the drug cartels for the US Food and Drug Administraion? Most of the proposals on favor of legalization rely of a heavy tax that is used for rehab treatment and methods to curb use. Reminds me of the same thing we are doing to tobacco and what has happened to the price of cigarrettes.
        When the drugs become legal, how is this gonna stop crime associated with the addicts? The addict will be in the same economic situation as he currently in. Most heavy users I have known were not in the best shape financially because of the habits they had. Instead of having to steal for his money to buy from the pusher, he will be in the same boat, just buying from a government approved “pusher”.
        As far as the statement of the old man, IMO, he was correct. If there is no demand for the product, how are the producers going to have a market to sell it?

        • Look at the history of alcohol prohibition. There aren’t a lot of reasons to think that things would go differently in the case of drug prohibition.

          The FDA does a good job overall ensuring that the food and drug supply is safe and reliable. With the collapse of the price due to legalization, even with a heavy tax the street price of drugs would be much lower. And given that we would save billions on drug enforcement efforts that would no longer be necessary, we wouldn’t necessarily have to impose high taxes on newly legalized drugs.

          Add in the fact that it’s much easier to seek help for an addiction if you don’t have to admit to a crime at the same time, and it’s not hard to imagine the situation being an improvement.

        • Rick, the big lie in the Old Man’s statement is that he left out how demand is created by the drug cartels and local dealers. If you’re a cop or a criminal defense attorney, you’ll know well how demand is created. The liquor industry and cigarette biz will give you clues, if needed. In drugs the big game is developing contacts with relatively harmless cannabis, and then pushing the customer onward to a more addictive and expensive drug. It isn’t complicated or obscure. The “gateway” in gateway drugs isn’t that it somehow prepares a person to want other drugs. It is that it gets them to the dealer who is the gateway and express lane to free samples of hard drugs. The difference with alcohol and tobacco, of course, is that your pushers of those WANT you to stay right there consuming. No moving on, please!

        • Ropingdown – WELL SAID! It amazes me how few people realize that a drug dealer is just a salesman. They want to increase profits, and $100/week per person selling weed doesn’t make them rich. $100/day in crack or $300/day in heroin makes them rich!

        • The old man I referenced could make something like $300 growing coffee. On the other hand, he could make $3000 growing coca. In his shoes what would you grow? The local lords treated him alright. They even built soccer fields for his kids to play on, gave ’em uniforms. They would even provide medical care for the suppliers and of course security and in many cases would make sure the authorities didn’t mess with you.
          Because the gringos had a problem and it is their God given right to get high, the old man had to be stopped growing his evil drugs. How many companies in a capitalistic society can stay in business making a product that there is no demand for? If the Americans weren’t putting the shit in their noses, veins, or lungs, how much of the stuff would be grown?

          Legalization will only change who the pusher is. Will prohibition work? Has it worked before? Only when users make the decision to stop using the junk will it change. But, that aint likely to happen anytime soon.

        • Ropingdown, I’m sure the “Gateway Drug” scenario does happen, but the facts don’t back you up. You’re right about the alcohol and tobacco. Everyone wants to demonize the demon weed.

          Seriously, I could get you an ounce of killer weed (not high school quality) within the next 24 hours, but I don’t have a clue about hard drugs, aside from going down town and talking to bad people.

          Full disclosure, I mostly stick with beer.

      • “The drug cartels are making money because drugs are illegal. ”
        They make money because drugs are highly addictive and demand is high. If you intend to legalize drugs will they be sold over the counter or with a script? What will drugs cost and will the tobacco model be followed to discourage their use? Tax drugs enough and you create an underground economy anyway, with greater demand than before thanks to legalization. Price per pound may drop but volume would increase and thanks to legalization we would have less tools available to address it with.

  1. As an old man in a Southern Hemisphere country told me a long time ago, “If your people didn’t use the stuff, we wouldn’t be making it”.

  2. At the risk of ruining some peoples’ cool aid habit, making drugs legal will not stop criminal violence. Crime syndicates are the oldest corporations known to human kind, so long as something is illegal and desired there will always be a criminal profiting from the activity. Enough criminals get together and one has a corporate mafia. Legalizing drugs changes the nature of whats sold, but rest assured those bangers will still be ‘bangin’ over something to sell. If its not weed and coke, it will be fake IDs and prostitution. Most folks in the narcotics business are murdered for personal reasons such as the non-tangible “street rep”-the product in question barely registers as a justification for homicide. Drugs may play a part, but the reason someone puts a gun to their fellow man & woman usually boils down to ruthless desire.

    • Yes, well, the drug trade is sending over a 500 million dollars a week to Mexico. If the drug cartels were prostitution cartels I think the death toll would be something less than the 50k Mexicans already slaughtered in cartel-related violence. Not to mention the torture victims or the economic deprivation.

    • The argument that “there will always be some criminal enterprise” is irrelevant. It is a matter of scale and consequences. We’ve legalized gambling to a large extent in the US since I was a kid. Prostitution is primarily an issue of “low end prostitution”…pimps and human trafficking. High-end prostitution (mistresses, courtesans, call-girls) has never been a social problem and has been common forever. Drugs, compared to gambling and high-end prostitution, are a whole different matter, one which has criminalized far too mnay young americans and which relies far too much on violence. Alcohol abusers start fights. Dealers of illegal drugs start gunfights.

    • It seems unlikely anyone thinks “criminal violence” will be stopped by legalizing soft drugs or some drugs. It will, however, take consumers away from the fast lane to heroin and crack. It will end the muggings that come from the need for high prices and very addictive drugs. Just as seat belts didn’t end auto accident deaths but only reduced them….it is that reduction we are looking for, and getting the user/consumer out of a supplier network that makes the big bucks pushing them onto harder and more expensive drugs.

    • The tired “they’ll find something else” argument is negated by the fact that they do these things already anyway. Taking one large chunk of their potential profits squeezes the criminal element into a tighter corner than ever instead of just letting them have free reign as essentially happens now, which also coincidentally gives them more money and power to do those other terrible things like human trafficking. Without the drug bundles on their backs those poor people crossing the desert aren’t that profitable.

  3. The point of the video is what the headline Mr. Farago captioned it with says. The History of Mexico is a sad narrative that never seems to get better. The Mexican Nation has a lot of internal problems of their own making. We in the USA seem unable to deal with our “demand” for illegal drugs despite the billion$ we have spent in the so-called “War on Drugs”. I have thought often and long about how this situation could be resolved, and I confess I cannot see a viable answer. All options just seem to stir the can of worms and make things worse on one side of the Border or the other. Somehow we need to STOP this madness.

  4. Take the profit out of drugs, treat drug abuse as a health issue and the US would be a much much better place. Obvious. Good luck with that one given that 1. So many people make a living off of dealing, policing, and imprisoning….and 2. So many other people think their double scotch or vodka in the evening, or the Ativan they take to cope with stress, or the extra 100 lbs they weigh from eating and sitting, is healthier than some cannabis. I don’t recommend cannabis. I simply thing the perspective is curious.

    • “Take the profit out of drugs, treat drug abuse as a health issue and the US would be a much much better place.”

      I agree 100,000%

      If Big Pharm produced the drugs it would be a huge cash cow for everyone involved in the process – manufacture, company sales, packaging, supply of raw materials, retail, ad nauseam. The quality and consistency would be top notch and folks wouldn’t have to put themselves in a potentially dangerous situation to get a drug of unknown quality/consistency. Even a modest tax would provide more than enough money to fund world class detox centers for any and all. An end to cartels and and a new multi-billion dollar domestic industry sounds like a win-win to me. If tobacco and alcohol are legal the argument against other drugs is tenuous at best. Drugs are an absolute fact of life and unless or until people don’t want them anymore they will never ever go away and as such we have taken the complete wrong way to deal with it. We’ve only to decide who gets the profits. A new and eminently profitable American industry seems a hell of a lot better than the current cartel industry that has reduced hundreds of lives to “merely business”.

      I may be deemed radical but I believe every individual has the absolute right to put whatever they want into their body. It’s called personal freedom. Of course that freedom ends when it infringes on someone else’s.

  5. Hopefully this doesn’t veer off topic too much, but with the media’s attention devoted to Mexico’s Murder Rate other areas are ignored. The stats differ a bit from one source to the next, but Puerto Rico’s murder rate per capita has either matched, or based on some sources, surpassed that of Mexico.

    Block a river, and the water finds a new route. Puerto Rico is becoming the new drug route. Once narcotics reach the shore of PR half the battle is over because they avoid US Customs. “PR is a US Territory and shipments from PR to the US do not go through Customs.”

    Like Mexico, Puerto Rico heavily restricts LEGAL gun ownership. Interesting… I thought we were told that gun control decreases the murder rate? When firearms are heavily restricted the only people that have them are criminals! The math is simple!

    • Yep, the murder rate in Puerto Rico is very high. People don’t murder (with whatever implement) for sport. They murder to enforce their turf, their debt collection, their politics….some criminal economic goal or political goal (war).

  6. Full disclosure, I love Mexico, I love Mexicans (well, mostly), and I hate American Imperialism. The War On Drugs is nothing more than the latex glove on the fist of the Empire. I used to always visit Jaurez on my trips between Portland and Houston. I’d park in the lot by the bridge and walk over for lunch. Now Jaurez is more dangerous than Bagdad. Seriously. Countless women have disappeared. It’s a Hellhole, all thanks to the War on Drugs.

    • NCG- I agree and if I was Mexico I would consider legalizing drugs to see if it would have any impact.
      However, in that situation there would still be gangs moving legal product through Mexico and then illegally into the US.
      At the end of the day the US would surely put that latex glove even further up, so I guess Mexico just has to legalize guns or wait and pray for the US to legalize drugs. Hell, we already legalize Rx narcotics that are much more dangerous than Marijuana.
      I personally dislike Marijuana, but what I dislike more is all the violent crime and wasted War on Drugs money. Its one thing if they could show a significant downturn in availability, but they have had zero impact on the street access to drugs.
      I have friends in the USCG who say it’s a joke thinking we can stop the supply. They waste countless hours trying to track down drug smugglers.

  7. President Obama blames American gunshops and buyers for exacerbating Mexican violence. Gun enthusiasts in turn blame the War On Drugs. But nobody is asking why the debate is framed this way.

    Why isn’t Mexico at fault? Why are the same people who hate the “blame America crowd” blaming America? Why aren’t people asking how to combat the proliferation of drugs in a peaceful way? Why is Mexico being given the moral high ground despite being ruled by cartels? Why should more Americans become junkies for Mexico?

    Lately I’ve been reading about PSY-OPS. Mainly old Army field manuals. An older man in my life (close family friend) specialized in that field during his Army days. He told me this but in slightly different words: “He that dictates the narrative wins.” Which individuals, agencies, and media outlets are framing the narrative for us?

    Mexico will never be a first-world superpower. A large source of her income comes from the United States. Financially, it would be nightmare for America to have the moral high ground in this scenario. That would entail higher support for border enforcement. More fences, tougher laws, and increased security could be expected.

    Legal or illegal narcotics are still subject to abuse. A former (now disowned) family member of mine destroyed his life and two other lives via a narcotic addiction. His elderly mother died calling for his help. Where was he? Shooting up a block down the road. His father died grief-stricken a year later. Losing your wife of fifty years to smack induced negligence is a tragedy. An avoidable one at that.

    So why should more American families be subjected to this in order to pacify Mexico? Why should incidents like this be foisted upon our fellow countrymen? Ask yourself this before jumping on the libertine bandwagon. More importantly, ask yourself who frames the narrative and why.

  8. 1. The country of Mexico should Mind there own Business too! Stop Telling America People Don”t Like it at all!!! The Spanish People don”t owned our Gun Rights To Owns Guns Is our Right under U.S. Constitution Of the Bill Of Rights of Free Nation too! By George Washington Our First President Of Date July 4th 1776 A.D . That American was born to be a Nation of The Free People too! Do you Agree??? Then You are American Citizen of a New Country too! The Good U.s.a Too! Thank you!!1 There are the ones are feeding drugs an Tunnels under the Mexico Border is California, New Mexico Arizona , Texas State. too! Gulf of Mexico ocean Up to State Of Florida State too!

  9. 1. This is U.S.A Complaint : in 50 States too! It true The Spanish People Should Speak English in American too! If they want to Live in the 50 States too! If they don”t want to Speak English ed in the U.S.A tell them: to go back to counties They came From too! They Will be Deported back to there Counties ! too! Solution is: We should get those people and Send them back home to there Counties too! Theses are not good Citizens at all too! They Will ruin the U.S.A. from the Inside too! The Law enforcement Should be aware of the Problem too! Arrest them if they in this country illegally is breaking the Federal Law Integration Regulations too! Do you agree!!! This goes for any Foreigners of other counties too! Do you agree! this all the 50 States too!

  10. 1.The Country Mexico should mind there own businesses about our Gun Rights in U.S. American in 50 States too! Do you agree!!! They are sticking there nose in our businesses too! We have the bill of rights of free nation too! The 50 States should abide by this ruling too! And all Counties, Cities, townships, towns too! The federal Government is in charge of over all the 50 States & counties ,Cities Townships towns too! Do you agree! We should build an wall near the Mexico border as well too! They don”t respect our Laws too! It true!

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