War on Drugs in Jeopardy?
The Wall Street Casino — if you win you get to keep all your profits; if you lose, the taxpayers will bail you out — might not be the only American institution that’s in trouble. With Mexico’s grisly drug-related violence getting worse every day, the Mexican government is about to say “F#$%&!# You!” to America’s War on Drugs. Somebody has to do it.
Most people who favor the War on Drugs are completely removed and sheltered from the unimaginable suffering caused by this war. They're like those chickenhawks who keep talking about which countries “we” should attack. “We” always means Somebody Else.
If you think of “Drugs!” as just some awful menace you keep hearing about in the news, then a “war on drugs” — a big crackdown! — might seem like a good idea. Then again, if you keep finding mutilated corpses in your neighborhood — the collateral damage from the wars between rival drug gangs — you might think drug laws are the problem more than the drugs themselves.
So far this year Mexico has had about 3,500 murders attributed directly to the drug wars. A lot of these murder victims include women and children. It isn't just gang members killing each other.
Mexican President Felipe Calderón started out as a gung ho drug warrior. But on October 2nd, he proposed legislation that would decriminalize possession of marijuana, cocaine, meth and heroin. It would just be small amounts for personal use. But still, Harry Anslinger and J. Edgar Hoover must be turning in their graves.
Former Mexican President Vicente Fox wanted to decriminalize marijuana several years ago, but he was shouted down by the Bush Administration. That was when Dumbya had a lot more political capital. Things are a little different now.
Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, said:
“President Calderón's proposal to decriminalize personal possession of illicit drugs is consistent with the broader trend throughout Western Europe, Canada, and other parts of Latin America to stop treating drug use and possession as a criminal problem. But it contrasts sharply with the approach taken in the United States…Looking to the U.S. as a role model for drug control is like looking to apartheid South Africa for how to deal with race.”
My sentiments exactly.
cross-posted at Bring It On!