Tuesday, March 03, 2009

A Fresh Take on the Drug War

I had a crazy, out-of-the-box idea today while having lunch with my better half. We were discussing the perception potential tourists have of Mexico given the increase in violence along the border.

Since the drug business is based on the premise of overwhelming and incessant demand by a large percentage of the citizenry of the Somewhat United States of America, who WANT to get high and continue to delude themselves that they live in a democracy, why fight the drug business at all? Isn't the idea behind the term democracy - so often touted as motivation behind screwing with other people's freely elected governments and invading nations - being 'rule by the people, for the people'? Well wake up, leaders of the world's most hypocritical democracy - THE PEOPLE WANT THEIR DRUGS!!

Why does this country have to play the part of the US's Mexican housekeeper or nanny? This is a third world country that has to do the dirty work for it's neighbor in exchange for what?

As Tony Garza Jr., former U.S. ambassador to Mexico put it:
Mexico would not be the center of cartel activity or experience this level of violence were the United States not the largest consumer of illicit drugs and the main supplier of weapons to the cartels. We have a responsibility to fight this war together, or we fail together. (link)
Is it really necessary for Mexicans to be shooting each other because the bloated drug addict up north can't get his act together? I mean really, what is the incentive? Keep fighting the drug cartels with all the spillover violence just so Mexico can get a condescending pat on the head from the US?

The admittedly crazy idea, is to sit down with the leaders of the drug cartels and offer them the de-criminalization of the whole drug business in exchange for them stopping the violence in Mexico, stopping distribution of drugs in the country and paying off any outstanding debt to the U.S.

If the U.S.A. want to wage a war on drugs, let them wage it on their turf. With their soldiers and their collateral damage. Or, and here's a novel idea, take a look at the real problem: the depressed, deluded society they have created that cannot stand to look itself in the mirror and demands the drugs in the first place.

OK. I told you it was kind of out-of-the box idea.

12 comments:

Jorgito said...

I have been talking to a few north americans lately and they all seem appalled by the amount of crime and drug related violence while thinking of Mexico.

I like your idea, only that, if it were legal, i think that it wouldn't be as much of a business for the dealers.

William Lawson said...

Same here. People are writing to ask if we are OK!

I think if it were legal, it would still b a solid, moneymaking proposition. Look at alcohol and cigarettes. They seem to be doing alright. :)

norm said...

It is the idea that one rule is stupid that makes breaking the other rules easy. In for a penny in for a pound, we have made law breakers out of 50% of the people, for what? Respect for the law is important, we need to have laws that earn respect, our drug laws fail that test in spades, get rid of stupid laws in general and we will all be better off. When the punishment is the same for killing as it is for dealing, what is the difference? Killing becomes part of the deal.

William Lawson said...

I like that idea - to respect the law, we need laws we can respect. This applies not only to the drug war, but even to lowly traffic laws (especially the non-sensical, whimsical, illogical, poorly thought-through Mexican ones)

Thanks Norm for stopping by.

Anonymous said...

What we need here is law enforcement.

Example:

The 'Reglamanto de Vialidad para el Estado de Yucatan'says:
Titulo VII, capitulo II:

Art. 104. Por transitar con vehiculo en mal estado....

75 % of the cars, hop! grua.
The streets would be safer.

Art. 105. Por no usar cinturón de segirudad....

As long as the police allows parents to use their children as living airbag....
As long as the police allows children in the back of a pick-up truck....

Art 134. Por no efectuar alto total...
Alto total ???
No... we wait until the upcoming traffic is in 'hit distance' and then we drive to the middle of road, blocking the left lane....

On an other note:
there is more basura in the street after the basura guys did their round...

So drugs, for now, has a lower priority....

CasualOb server said...

Dear Neurotic Gringo: How is it that you have more sense than the reality-denying gringos north of the border? ;-)

Simply put: Prohibition didn't work. Immigration Enforcement doesn't work. "War" on Drugs doesn't work.

Whereever there is a market demand, the solution is never law enforcement. The solution is to moderate, affect, direct the market demand in such a way that things are not harmful.

So, what did we do after Prohibition? (For the general public, not much different! They were getting drunk all along, Prohibition or no!)

We regulated and taxed the sale of alcohol, but made it readily accessible at a reasonable price. Thus, the customers were happy to pay the tax, could drink up all they want, the government increased revenue and decreased expenses (no longer engaged in running gun battles with bootleggers).

Is it so impossible to see a parallel here?

Make Driving while Drugged illegal, but stop fighting the drugs. You wouldn't even have to sit down with the cartel leaders. As soon as the enormous profit margins (caused by law enforcement of prohibition) vanish, their hired guns will no longer show up for work. The cartels will be deflated.

If the "cons" think the USA will become a staggering besotted playground of hopped up lunatics, well, they don't think too much of their fellow countrymen, do they?

Every high schooler can tell you where to buy pot. The war on drugs is the ultimate failure. Time to shift to a new model. Treat addiction as a medical problem.

William Lawson said...

It's so screwed up and it seems impossible to overcome this mentality. It's like their brains are constipated.

The only thing left is to keep talking and writing about it and maybe someday, someone that is in a position to change something will get it.

Cheers!

lippincottfarm said...

I own a house in Merida and a house in the USA. The house in the USA would be considered a "nice" house. If we are going to be gone from the house past midnight, we pay someone to stay in the house. When we are in Merida, someone stays in our house in the USA on a full time basis. Why would that be? Because the rate of robberies in our area is so high that we would be robbed in a heart beat.

It never used to be that way, but it sure is now. The reason is so many people are using heroin, oxycontin and whatever drugs are readily available that the only way they can continue to use these drugs to to rob, steal and harm the people who have possessions.

I go to work everyday and do not waste my money on drugs. I do not know if the answer is to legalize drugs. It may be, but I doubt it. I would appreciate the tax money that would come in from the legal drugs; however, people who have sense do not have multiple kids and quit high school and use drugs. I do know the answer if not to continue to give these people who have never worked, food stamps, subsidized housing, health benefits and cash money. If they had to go to work everyday, they wouldn't have the time to get wasted.

I have a job which involves me with families who do not take care of their kids mainly because they drink or do drugs and have more kids than they can afford. There is no incentive to stop doing this because they get more money for each kid they have and they are all on SSI because they have "issues".

Give me Mexico any day. I don't pay someone to stay in my house in Merida full time. The neighbors check the house out and pay attention to what is going on. I can't wait until the day when I can live in Merida full time. There's not a chance in **** that I would walk the streets of Pittsburgh at night without looking over my shoulder; I routinely do this in Merida even after having one to many margaritas in Centro.

lippincottfarm said...

I own a house in Merida and a house in the USA. The house in the USA would be considered a "nice" house. If we are going to be gone from the house past midnight, we pay someone to stay in the house. When we are in Merida, someone stays in our house in the USA on a full time basis. Why would that be? Because the rate of robberies in our area is so high that we would be robbed in a heart beat.

It never used to be that way, but it sure is now. The reason is so many people are using heroin, oxycontin and whatever drugs are readily available that the only way they can continue to use these drugs to to rob, steal and harm the people who have possessions.

I go to work everyday and do not waste my money on drugs. I do not know if the answer is to legalize drugs. It may be, but I doubt it. I would appreciate the tax money that would come in from the legal drugs; however, people who have sense do not have multiple kids and quit high school and use drugs. I do know the answer if not to continue to give these people who have never worked, food stamps, subsidized housing, health benefits and cash money. If they had to go to work everyday, they wouldn't have the time to get wasted.

I have a job which involves me with families who do not take care of their kids mainly because they drink or do drugs and have more kids than they can afford. There is no incentive to stop doing this because they get more money for each kid they have and they are all on SSI because they have "issues".

Give me Mexico any day. I don't pay someone to stay in my house in Merida full time. The neighbors check the house out and pay attention to what is going on. I can't wait until the day when I can live in Merida full time. There's not a chance in **** that I would walk the streets of Pittsburgh at night without looking over my shoulder; I routinely do this in Merida even after having one to many margaritas in Centro.

William Lawson said...

True that. Perhaps it is an indictment of the two societies. Americans WANT to get high in far greater proportions than Mexicans.

And supposedly the united states is wealthier, more educated, more modern nation than poor old Mexico.

Funny. There's something fundamentally wrong in the 'land of the free', I suspect.

FINZ.tv said...

Legalizing drugs?? well, how about first legalizing online poker before we even get to hardcore drugs...nice seizure of all online poker accounts last week..I would love to see legalization of drugs because i want to see cartels rendered as useless as the U.S. Congress...hijole de madre!!

-alamo-

William Lawson said...

so, thinking in reverse here, if the cartels will be as useless as the united states congress when they become legal, maybe we should make the united states congress ILLEGAL thereby improving their efficiency!

just a thought....