David R. Henderson  

Drug War Success

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The best sentence of the day:

"If the drug effort were failing there would be no violence," a senior U.S. official said Wednesday.

In other words, the fact that there is violence in Latin America means the drug war is succeeding. So does that mean that if violence increases even more, the drug war will be even more of a success?

Read the whole thing.


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CATEGORIES: Regulation



COMMENTS (10 to date)
Freude Bud writes:

If I were from Mexico, the fact that there were so many constituencies in the US that profit off the export of instability to my country by targeting distribution instead of consumption would really irritate me.

Expat in Mexico writes:

The militarization of the drug war in Mexico really irritates me. Last year, there were no soldiers on the streets, but now there are soldiers with face masks and machine guns parading around, and the initiative is funded by the U.S.A.

It seems the only way I can escape the U.S.A. is to move to Chile. I'm not looking forward to the long flights.

Marc writes:

That pretty much summarizes the moral bankruptcy of the Drug War, doesn't it?

Grant Gould writes:

Policy in a nutshell: If foreigners are suffering or dying, it must be working.

Corollary: When writing policies, make sure that they can harm or kill foreigners. Otherwise you can't possibly hope to succeed.

R Houck writes:

The US war on drugs is an ongoing topic reminicent of a large thorn in our country's side. The thorn is so large that is can be seen in many other countries such as Mexico. I agree with the comments made earlier from "Expat in Mexico" that the increase of militarization in the war on drugs is quite irritating. It especially irritates me to read articles and see photos of masked soldiers in the streets in the attempt to increase fear in drug traffickers. I myself am not an advocate for the illegal trafficking of harmful drugs but I do think that there is a more efficent way of dealing with this problem.

First and foremost I believe that more of a focus and effort should be placed on the country borders and bodies of water that serve as channels for sneaking drugs in and out. By doing so it would seem as though traffickers would have a much more difficult time sneaking illegal drugs in and out. This in return would move militarization away from the major urban areas and provide more security along country borders ultimatily reducing illegal drug trafficking opportunites. This will also help to prevent other illegal activites from occuring, such as terrorist plots and illegal immigration.

Secondly, I believe for the war on drugs to be a success the governments of the involved countries (i.e. the US, Mexico, etc.) should seriously consider decriminalizing marijuana. I truely feel than in doing this these countries could benefit economically. If marijuana was decriminalized and appropriately regulated the government could tax producers and users similar to tobacco. In this poor economic time this newly added tax revenue could seriouly help. Also by decriminalizing marijuana less time, money, and emphasis could be placed on attempting to stop marijuana production and use and turn the focus towards more dangerous illegal substances and issues.

All in all, I feel as though these countries need to take a different approach to the war on drugs. Most importantly consider the decriminalization of marijuana and use its production and sales to the countries economic benefit.

R Houck writes:

The US war on drugs is an ongoing topic reminiscent of a large thorn in our country's side. The thorn is so large that is can be seen in many other countries such as Mexico. I agree with the comments made earlier from "Expat in Mexico" that the increase of militarization in the war on drugs is quite irritating. It especially irritates me to read articles and see photos of masked soldiers in the streets in the attempt to increase fear in drug traffickers. I myself am not an advocate for the illegal trafficking of harmful drugs but I do think that there is a more efficient way of dealing with this problem.

First and foremost I believe that more of a focus and effort should be placed on the country borders and bodies of water that serve as channels for sneaking drugs in and out. By doing so it would seem as though traffickers would have a much more difficult time sneaking illegal drugs in and out. This in return would move militarization away from the major urban areas and provide more security along country borders ultimately reducing illegal drug trafficking opportunities. This will also help to prevent other illegal activities from occurring, such as terrorist plots and illegal immigration.
Secondly, I believe for the war on drugs to be a success the governments of the involved countries (i.e. the US, Mexico, etc.) should seriously consider decriminalizing marijuana. I truly feel than in doing this these countries could benefit economically. If marijuana was decriminalized and appropriately regulated the government could tax producers and users similar to tobacco. In this poor economic time this newly added tax revenue could seriously help. Also by decriminalizing marijuana less time, money, and emphasis could be placed on attempting to stop marijuana production and use and turn the focus towards more dangerous illegal substances and issues.

All in all, I feel as though these countries need to take a different approach to the war on drugs. Most importantly consider the decriminalization of marijuana and use its production and sales to the countries economic benefit.

floccina writes:

My hope for Obama is that he does not enforce the drug laws. Ending the war on drugs would be better but would envolve congress and seems too much to hope for.

Bill writes:

I have 9 children ages 8-24. None on drugs yet.Keep fighting. Live with the inconvenience.

Amanda0970 writes:

It is true, drug trafficking is a multibillion dollar enterprise that does incite some violence, but taking away the availability of drugs does nothing but incite even more violence. The opportunity to enter the market, however illegal, must be there, or the result will be extreme measures to get what drug addicts want.

Personally, let me get on a mini-soapbox, the U.S. really needs to deal with AMERICANS and stop worrying about Mexicans. I agree with stopping the entry of illegal substances into the U.S. FROM Mexico, but just get the heck out of Mexico!! How about you put your masks on and run through cities like Detroit and Miami and fight the war on drugs against teenagers who are ruining their lives. It seems to me as if this should be the drug war policy.

As much as I hate drugs, from an economic standpoint I have to say that the ultimate solution to the war on drugs seemed to be legalization with strict control. The key to ending violence relating to the drug war is to take the profit out of that violence -- out of illegal trafficking. Without the afore-mentioned multi-billions of dollars, the drug trade loses its appeal, and people do not have to resort to violence to get the drugs they want. Strict controls could cut down on the externalities that would negatively affect the citizens, etc. It could even possibly create more responsible, respectable, and after the change, well-paying jobs for ex-drug dealers in the restriction end of the legalizations.

wannabeexpat writes:

I would like to see more comments from expats in Mexico - especially the Lake Chapala area - on the drug war related violence in central Mexico.
As an American, I know that without the demand in the U.S. and Canada (yes, they do drugs in Canada too!) there would not be drug cartel fighting for the supply territory in Mexico. The corruption and bribery in Mexico is simply more visible and blatant than it is in the U.S. and Canada. And although you cannot legislate morality, you should think carefully about what you condone through legislation.

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