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Day after day, week after week, year after year—the slaughter south of our border continues. In the last ten years, tens of thousands of Mexicans have been kidnapped, raped, tortured, mutilated and murdered by narco-terrorists. The drug cartels have killed judges, politicians, journalists and anyone else standing in their way; obliteratating the rule of law. Here’s a snippet from noroeste.com.mx: “During the third week of April a total of 28 people were killed in the state [of Sinaloa] with which total 85 in this month. Statistics [released by the] Attorney General of the State and newspaper archives indicate that this year 450 murders have been committed.” Ending the carnage is not about choking off the supply of illegal guns; the cartels have enough money to buy the entire U.S. firearms industry. (No joke.) And yet it is about guns. Whether or not the U.S. repeals drug laws, unless Mexicans regain their constitutional right to keep and bear arms, they will be at the mercy of the vicious thugs who have no respect for the sanctity of human life. Just so you know.

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17 Responses to The War at Our Door Continues Apace. Only More So.

  1. It is truly sad that those south of the boarder have to suffer. I do mean that. They are the mercy of the cartels, and life is so bad they are willing to risk life and limb to walk across the desert to us for the chance at a better life.
    This isn’t the discussion board for illegal immigration but the Mexican government needs to get things back in control. Not just the drug cartel issue but also the quality of life for their people.

  2. I might ruffle some feathers with what I am about to state next (or maybe not) – but here goes . . . the prohibition against substances is about as antithetical to freedom as the prohibition against weapons. The two issues definitely have considerable overlap.

    Firearms prohibition (in America) started about the same time as alcohol and drug prohibition. Both are wrong; both result in considerable “blowback”. Many of the same people are for both. Is anyone really going to argue that either is effective? Your drug dealer use to have a bow tie and call you “sir” – and the world did not jump off its axis if you walked into the local DRUGSTORE and bought a few grams of blow.

    All manner of explosives used to be over the counter items as well. That may not interest most of you, unless those explosives come in small metal cases and are pressure sensitive – then it affects your bang stick.

    Legalize drugs nay. End the prohibition against drugs, as they used to be legal, and you will see the hand-over-fist money the cartels make dry up as an ancillary benefit.

  3. Mexico’s problems are not solved simply by legalizing drugs in the US. Look broadly at their economy and government and you see a failed state. Plenty of resources there going to waste too. I know everyone is waiting for the happy day when drugs are legalized so the party can get started but a simple solution isn’t always the best one. And if you think these criminal organizations will just dissolve you are mistaken.
    Kidnapping is a favorite pastime down there, and we are woefully unprepared to deal with that business. And where will the legal weed come from? Will it be taxed like cigarettes or declared a medicine and tax free (like in CA) with regulations on it’s production? Plenty of ways to make it cost more and encourage law breaking. Because if anyone thinks it’s going to be cheap and widely available think again.
    Take a moment to look around at your family and friends and imagine them hooked on legalized drugs. Try to imagine what you would do to solve that problem.

    • Drug use went down in Portugal after legalization.

      Legalization could be done wrong, of course, that’s altogether possible, but it’s not rocket surgery. Look at alcohol prohibition. There was a lot of criminality associated with the alcohol black market during prohibition (which, by the way, sprung up pretty much as soon as it became illegal). When alcohol became legal again, pretty much all of that evaporated. Brewers and distillers no longer shoot or blow each other up. Distributors don’t line rivals up in front of brick walls and machine gun them down. And if previously criminal organizations go legit, then that’s a win too.

      Similarly, if drug prohibition were ended, there’d be no reason for the violence to continue. Why risk going to prison when you can conduct your business in the open? Why murder a rival and hide from the law when you can sue him and use the law against him?

      As for where the legal weed would come from, there are plenty of people growing domestically right now who would be happy to supply it. I’m sure RJR Nabisco, Philip Morris USA, and other tobacco producers would love to branch out. ADM and ConAgra might give it a shot as well. The market might segment into “boutique” producers and “mass market” producers, kind of like micro-breweries vs commercial breweries.

      • Heck, give Phillip Morris and RJR lab guys a year and they’ll have pot for sale that is so potent it will get you higher than Felix Baumgartner.

        That being the case, I see a pretty clear physiologic difference between legalizing THC and its delivery systems and legalizing cocaine and morphine derivatives. Rats won’t bang a bar to get THC until they die, they’ll happily do that to get cocaine. People are obviously more than rats in a lab but molecules designed to not just trip the dopamine reward system but light it up like Shibuya are maybe best not released on the public. There is some degree of social stigma to hard drug use that has fallen away at least partially from marijuana and acknowledging this through decriminalization is something that society seems to be moving toward. There are a number of conditions that THC can treat the symptoms of pretty well but there really isn’t anything other than topical anesthesia and hemorrhage control in ENT surgery that cocaine is particularly useful in treating, and there are safer and less-addicting options than cocaine even for that indication.

        I am sympathetic to the libertarian “my body my choice” argument, but we have to be pretty strong as a society to acknowledge the responsibilities as well as the rights. People are going to blow their lives away with chemicals, and if you’re going to espouse their right to do so then you have to be as certain about not stepping in to stop their decline. I’m sure as individuals some of us can pull this off, but as a society there are enough do-gooders out there to campaign for a social safety net to “prevent” crime by supporting the habits of people who’d rather get high than contribute. The people who can get high responsibly and still contribute — those folks can handle themselves, I’m not worried about them. What to we do about people who cannot balance work and drugs, or parenting and drugs? Good luck keeping the government out of the addict-support business, and as a libertarian taxpayer I wouldn’t be willing to support that line of work any more than a libertarian taxpayer would support the War on Drugs we have today. Seems like we will be exchanging one intrusive apparatus for another, not sure the net cost benefit works out.

        Basically, if you legalize the seriously-addicting stuff then you have to pull back everything from people who want to go there. If you let them get high, you have to let them crash and burn to be fully consistent. While I can see the US making the decision to decriminalize I don’t see the willingness to let people suffer the consequences, and minus the feedback loop it seems like a bad idea.

        • My main point is if we’re going to have to deal with addicts and addiction one way or another, then I think it’s preferable that we deal with it rationally and humanely. Dealing with it through the criminal justice system is a poor choice for both those considerations.

        • The results of the Volstead Act gives us every angle and result we could ask for concerning banning any substance. Anyone who argues otherwise has a tragic lack of not only correlation ability but common sense as well.

          Consider this – drugs can’t even be kept out of a supermax prison so how the hell can we keep it out of our entire country?

      • @Carlos,

        Technically, Portugal decriminalized drug use. They did not legalize it and walk away. You can still land in a Portuguese prison for distribution and trafficking. They have a civil, rather than criminal, system for dealing with drug use.

        And it’s true that a smaller percentage of Portuguese high-school age students have tried marijuana than similar numbers in the EU and US, but Portugal’s numbers were never as high as the EU or US before decriminalization.

    • One of the problems with legalizing pot is that too many people make money better with the way it is. Last year a vote narrowly failed to decriminalize it in CA. There are many pro-pot people that voted against it, simply because they are involved with the growth and sale of it now, so their business would be affected if suddenly illegal practices were not neccessary. This is enough people to have likely made the difference in the vote. Also pharmaceutical companies are acutally against it. They don’t see an effective way to make money on a drug that requires zero refinement and people can simply grow their own plant and smoke it. It is attributed in countless medical studies, a vast majority funded by the government, to being able to ease ailments of endless afflictions. This would basically replace many products they make money on currently. I’m not realy sure why the tabacco industry doesn’t lobby for it. You’d think they’d be the ones most readily able to capitalize on it as they are already prepared to grow crops, and roll cigarettes for sale if it were to be legal. Plus it would be a nice PR move to sell a product that is accepted as medicine, as opposed to one that is considered poison and constantly harrassed by the public and governement.

  4. Legalizing the drugs would help more than a little. IN both the US and Mexico. Think of a the huge tax revenue that the US government could waste in new and exciting ways. Think how small farmers could improve their lives.

    Mexico would have bit of a problem. The entire country is corrupt. Starving the cartels of their leading money source would make things worse in the short term. The cartels would just seek other opportunities. The kidnapping, as mentioned above, would be far worse. I would imagine that other even worse crimes would explode as well. Organ harvesting? Slavery?

  5. I feel sorry for the people of Mexico. Great people, great food, great weather and still the country is swirling down the porcelain convenience.

    Arm ’em up, for all the good it will do. They deserve a fighting chance.

    • Ultimately though, arming for self-defense wouldn’t stop the bloodshed, though it might make for more cartel casualties and less civilians. What they need is to clean house, a full revolution. So yeah… arm them up.

    • And great amounts of oil, though they are not making sufficient investment to ensure future production levels.

    • Back in ’99, I worked in San Francisco selling online advertising. One of my co-workers was a 26(?) year old woman whose mother was Vietnamese and the father was Mexican. She was a perfect specimen of female beauty.

  6. I do not think a utopian solution exists, but…
    legalizing drugs would take some air out of Cartel sails.
    empowering the Mexican People with guns would give the People more possible power and weaken the Cartels as well.

  7. I don’t think arming the citizens will do much to stop the war. Ordinary citizens are at a huge disadvantage against any gang, and being armed does not help as much as people might think.

    The math of drug cartels is that they send their foot soldiers out to dominate a community, and they replace any of them that vanish, get shot, get arrested (unlikely), or change sides. There are plenty more “soldiers” where the last batch came from. Arming each houshold makes the job of the foot-soldier more dangerous, but hardly turns the tide.

    Instead, someone who fights back makes themself even more of a target. If they survive the first day, they will be attacked again later in greater numbers, and their gun will end up being the trophy.

    This is the classic example of a supply-and-demand-side problem. We need to cut back on the demand for drugs in the US, and the Mexican police (and military) need to be paid enough money to fight the war.

    The average wage of a police officer in Mexico is $350 a month. money goes a little further there: That is about like making $200 a week in the US.

    Would you fight a deadly war for $200 a week? Even if it put your starving family at risk? Even if someone else was offering you $200 a day to look the other way?

    (You might way that you would, but until you have been in that situation…)

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