The Freeman: How To End Mexico's Deadly Drug War

Since 2008 more than 7,000 people, including Mexican civilians, journalists, police, and public officials, have been killed in clashes with warring drug traffickers — traffickers who US government officials allege derive 60 percent of their profits from exporting marijuana north of the border.
So what are the Obama administration’s plans to quell these gangs growing influence and the surging violence surrounding the drug trade? Troublingly, the White House appears intent on recycling the very strategies that gave rise to Mexico’s infamous drug lords in the first place.
In the December 2009 issue of The Freeman I propose another solution.

How To End Mexico’s Deadly Drug War
via The Freeman
[excerpt] Americans’ support for legalizing the regulated production and sale of cannabis — an option that would not likely rid the world of cartels, but would arguably reduce their primary source of income — is at all an all-time high.
… Predictably, critics of marijuana legalization claim that such a strategy would do little to undermine drug traffickers’ profit margins because cartels would simply supplement their revenues by selling greater quantities of other illicit drugs. Although this scenario sounds plausible in theory, it appears to be far less likely in practice.
As noted, Mexican drug lords derive an estimated 60 to 70 percent of their illicit income from pot sales. (By comparison, only about 28 percent of their profits are derived from the distribution of cocaine, and less than 1 percent comes from trafficking methamphetamine.) It is unrealistic to think that cartels could feasibly replace this void by stepping up their sales of cocaine, methamphetamine or heroin—all of which remain far less popular among U.S. drug consumers. Just how much less? U.S. Department of Health and Human Services survey data show that roughly two million Americans use cocaine, compared to 15 million for pot. Fewer than 600,000 use methamphetamine, and fewer than 155,000 use heroin. In short, this is hardly the sort of demand that would keep Mexico’s drug barons in the lucrative lifestyle to which they’ve become accustomed.
Of course, it’s unrealistic to think that pot legalization would wipe out prohibition-inspired violence altogether. After all, ending alcohol prohibition in America didn’t single-handedly put the Mafia out of business (though it greatly reduced its power and influence). And it’s always possible that Mexico’s drug cartels would continue to engage in violent acts toward one another as competing factions fought over the crumbs of America’s drastically shrunken illicit-drug market.
That said, it’s equally unrealistic, if not more so, to think that continuing our same failed drug war policies will do anything but exponentially increase the catastrophe they’ve spawned, both in Mexico and at home. It’s time to engage in a different strategy. It’s time to seriously consider legalizing marijuana.

You are welcome to read the entire article, and provide your feedback, here.

0 thoughts

  1. Very nice. The fact is that those of us who smoke pot will continue to do so regardless of whether it’s legal or illegal. The question is who do we want to get rich off of it: cartels or corporations?

  2. I really wish the government would legalize the harmless plant, but they are making so much money off of it being illegal it probably wont happen soon. If it did, the alcohol, tobacco, and Pharm. companies would be out of billions of dollars. Plus if we stop putting people in jails and prisons..the police will have less income, and they don’t want that! They would rather put an innocent person in jail or prison to keep money in thier pockets. This country is’nt ran by the people, its ran by the government! They know cannabis coes’nt cause cancer, and that its not a gateway drug! These comercials you see putting marijuana down is paid for by the alcohol industries! They are doing so, so that it will stay illegal and they can keep killing us, and putting money in thier pockets! When are people going to see that alcohol is far more harmful and addicting than marijuana? There has’nt been 1 confirmed case of anyone dieing from marijuana. So tell me, why is alcohol and tobacco legal when they kill hundreds of thousands of people every year? I will tell you…”MONEY TALKS”! Our government is a JOKE! Land of the free my ass! Obama you need to legalize this plant that does’nt harm anyone, and quit paying for abortion clinics in other countries! Make the right choice for us the people, and you will be rewarded in the end! Keep up the good work NORML!
    Glenn O

  3. I wonder how long and how many lives it will take for our government to realize what the better answer to this issue is?

  4. Legalization and allowing Americans to grow their own is the only way the green market will be removed,anything that continues the prohibition just underwrites the existence of criminal activities surrounding marijuana.
    No matter how many “cartels” we arrest,kill or “put out of business”,new ones will form up before the dust settles from the air,because there is just too much money in the market for it to go away.
    Even with legalization,the green market will be active,until enough people harvest their own crop,and
    stop buying marijuana.
    Prohibition is not the only reason there is a black market. Because our government has decided that by increasing the taxes and costs of tobacco,they can reduce tobacco use,and it is causing some people to quit,quit buying from America anyway. Now a black market for cigarettes exists,not because cigarettes are illegal,but just because we can get them cheaper
    from other countries.
    So when legalization occurs for marijuana,that will also be true for the green market. If the government adds too much tax,or retailers charge too much,the green market will just continue. The cartels are entrenched in our country,with distribution systems and retailers already in place.and they don’t check ID’s or care if they sell to your kids.
    The cartels are already in partnership with some of our largest financial agencies,or do you actually think they carry those billions of untaxed dollars across our borders in suitcases? And it takes a big bank to move billions of dollars,untraceable by our own
    DEA,and continue doing it year after year after year.
    It is amazing that our FBI can interdict and stop 5 terrorists from laundering $100,000.00 and the DEA can’t interdict,stop or even know which bank is laundering those billions of dollars.

  5. I find it increasingly irritating that our government and media continue to ignore, supress, and villify anyone making any sense on any subject whatsoever.

  6. #2 Matt
    What you say should be repeated and repeated over and over again, because it’s the bottom line and some people need to get this fact through their thick heads.
    So I’ll repeat it again as I have been doing for years…
    Legal or not, people will always use marijuana. Now, with that being said, who do you want to profit from that, the cartels or our country?
    For the past 70+ years, we’ve chosen the cartels to have all that money. I ask you, the opponents out there, why is that the wiser choice?

  7. Ok, here is what I don’t get. When I was living in Howell, MI me and my friend went to Windsor, Canada for a night out at the casino’s and bars. Canadian Border Patrol were actually respectful to us. As soon as we came back to get back in the US we got detained and my car got stripped because their was “THC Residue” in my car (I didn’t have any cannabis, and it would be stupid to bring any with me) I got drilled with all sorts of questions until we were finally released. The bastards didn’t even put anything back in my car, my tools and personal belongings were strewed about all over my car. How are all these drugs getting across our border…gee maybe because the United States is actually allowing this to happen, then locking up its citizens to profit from that. This is getting ridiculous. How long is it going to take before we Americans start getting seriously pissed off and possibly start a Civil War? Is that what the Government wants? One more thing, Prohibitionists say that Legalization of Cannabis won’t do anything to undercut profits from these Mexican Drug Warriors..but who here is gonna go and buy heroin (or even buy it now for that matter) once Cannabis is legal?
    Its time to legalize, the time is NOW! I’m sick of paying to put people in jail for a personal choice.

  8. Thank you a million times over Paul Armentano. I read the entire article and it is fantastic, amazing, truthful, and to the point with absolutely sane and realistic words.

  9. Einsteins definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. Just look to Washington to find the grand example.

  10. From Personal Experience, I can tell you this, our courts so called justice system completely revolves around money. The more money you can throw at a legal problem, the better off you will be in the end. It is the poor and the sick who suffer most from marijuana prohibition. Our courts, our cops, our lawyers and our system was built on the backs of the working public.
    It is shameful and it is wrong and it is NOT Patriotic, Christian, Conservative or Moral to punish people for using a plant which God put on this earth, and which helps so many people.
    Put the power to choose back into the hands of the common man and you remove the very reason for evil organizations to exist.
    My two cents.

  11. The clear logic behind eliminating the bulk of violent drug cartel’s income by legalizing cannabis is gradually sinking into the public consciousness. It won’t be long before politicians are falling over each other in a stampede to end this counter-productive policy as they realize that there are votes to be had for supporting this common sense solution. We are on the brink of an “ah ha” moment in this country, politically.

  12. There is more money to be made maintaining our current national drug policy, than re-legalizing, regulating and taxing cannabis. This current policy has been largely in place more than 70 years, and generates tens of billions of dollars each year. It also creates and maintains countless jobs from law enforcement to lawyers, to prison guards and the drug testing industry. Even drug cartels, who work hand in hand with U.S. narcotics agents in a shared lucrative business, do not want cannabis to be legal. Continued prohibition is essential to the very survival of both. And after all, the majority of the voting American public is clearly quite content to have some of their inalienable Constitutional rights violated to be protected from dangerous drugs, especially our children. Freedom to choose that which does not harm another must be reserved for people living with freedom and liberty in a free country. This is obviously not something a majority of Americans are willing and able to secure. Prohibitionists may not be right, but they are in charge.

  13. The white house is in bed with every known cartel in the world. They actually split profits. The white house dabbles in not only drugs but also prostitution gambling and child pornography. All the proof is out there for any willing to do the extensive research. The war on drugs is simply the mask of virtue. Which all evil empires need to hide their true intentions. The drug war will not end and marijuana will NEVER be legal in this country. Even with an 80% or above public approval. When will people wake up and realize that WE THE PEOPLE are no longer in control here?

  14. Is there one politician out there who has the balls to do what is helpful and sensible no matter what they think public opinion is? Many people really do want to end prohibition and those that don’t are horribly misinformed. Can someone please acknowledge a fact and stand up and do the right thing?

  15. hello, my name is vicky and I am 60 year old woman who has smoked pot for 34 years and have known thousands of nice people around the world that smoke pot as well. Since I consider myself an open minded and honest person I never hided myself from my family or close friends because in my heart I knew I was not doing anything wrong even though many people thought different. I leave in the country among many people, different ages, that smoke pot as part of the daily routine and we could not be happier, more loving and more peaceful people. I am all against liquor and cigarrettes and all PRO LEGALIZATION OF MARIJUANA If more people smoked marijuana this will be a better world to live in…LETS CHANGE GUNS FOR BUDS!!!

  16. We know and understand the good cannabis is for our society, from medical aid to replacement of wood which in tern saves the forest and the reefs on this planet.
    We have to over come this Government fraud, this Constructive Fraud set upon us and destorying our liberties. We must not let up about this exposed fraud and we must call it what it is, a Crime against the people.
    But until this wayward government gives up it’s unconstitutional position We, the People must act through our Courts. We must protect people like the man facing LIFE in prison. It is simple, we over ride the government in the court rooms acrossed America. Jury Nullification! That’s right, be a Jurier, be the Peer that reviews the case before the court, and then Nullify the Law, hang the jury, refuse to convict. As a jurier, educate the rest of the Jury in this Constructive Fraud and refuse to take part in it. Nullify the Law by way of Jury Lawlessness! No judge, no court can stop a jury in a criminal trial from reaching it own conclusion as to what is a Crime!
    So please stand and be counted, be a part of our court system, be a jurier and use your god given power to over ride this wayward government and it’s foolish cannabis law.
    Jury Nullification
    Know It
    Practice It
    Change the Cannabis Laws
    It is time to act, and act we must, we must stop this wayward government from sending anyone to prison over this plant. Time to put our foot down on the government waywardness and nullify those foolish laws they create that do not represent the will of the American people.
    Time to push, so PUSH REAL HARD against this unjust fruad once and for all.

  17. His entire argument is “Marijuana is illegal because it’s not good for you”. This is pathetically weak, and I really shouldn’t have to explain why. Alcohol “isn’t good for you”, but it’s legal. Fast food isn’t good for you, but it’s legal. What makes cannabis any different?

  18. Have you wondered why you haven’t seen much of vice president Biden lately?
    Well guess what folks, we were scammed yet again, because it just so happens that our dear V.P. Biden was the former chairman of the senate judiciary committee during the 80’s, under then President Ronald Reagan,
    that was directly responsible for the drug policy that we still have today.
    While Biden was chairman of the senate judiciary committee, Biden oversaw the mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines, that requires Judges to sentence even small marijuana dealers to years in federal prison where some still remain.
    Then chairman Biden’ held closed door hearings where only the DEA prosecutors and other law enforcement officials were allowed to speak
    in order to mislead the public into backing this failed policy.
    Biden has never shifted his opinion, nor has he made an apology to the people this country whose lives he was directly responsible for destroying and a policy that is a complete failure.
    So, do you really believe the Obama administration is really here to change things?
    Sorry people, It’s all about the money.

  19. Man , i feel sorry for you guys and gals back east , down South and in the midwest . Their car getting stripped searched by # 8 blogger sounds unreal . I can’t believe what’s happening outside of California & when i see ” Cops ” on TV -showing someone getting manhandled and treated like a criminal for possessing weed it really blows my mind that this kind of stuff is still happening in America . John Walsh of ” America’s most Wanted ” is another example of what brainwashing can do to a person .

  20. i still cant believe that our government just now started to check the traffic flowing into mexico. if they’re so concerned about the whole drug issue, dont you think they would have been doing that for awhile? i guess even the cannabis trade is considered a part of nafta. gov. would rather mexico get the money then america by keeping it illegal. legalize cannabis then, put all those dea agents down at the border….where they belong!

  21. READ… READ… READ… I had a thought the other day after hearing one of the NORML pod casts. The main stream media is just a biz. We know they track the searches on their web sites. We should go to FOX, NBC, CNN, and others such “marijuana”. The more hits they get the more likely they are to cover marijuana related stores. This way we can get more mainstream press.

  22. In GOD we trust¿when in the bible says i give you evry seed baering plant in the face of all earth.and that i think we should call HERB not any foolish denigrating nick name to our plant of renown.so legalization of Marihuana will never exist beacause Marihuana its only a name made to scare people.but HERB is already leagal by GOD and we should defend with our life against any conspiracie against our healing of the nations plant,and we have to unificate and fight this run away to the mountains and pray,plant,be self suficient and act quikly before this people that contaminate the planet(not people they viruses)ohhh JAH,I Shot the sheriff

  23. too
    to#22 i wish mass would smarten up. reefer should be legal all over.bill clinton said he didnt inhale. i bet obama said he dosent smoke anymore.i bet

  24. Hi. First of all i do not believe that it should be legalized,for 2 reasons.(1) The laws used to criminalize the individual is a fraud there is no victim under common law. It is a political and legal fraud, Just like the Bank legal financial fraud that was designed to enslave the worlds Population.It is the reason for the existence of big drug cartels. If it was left alone it would be cheap. (2) It is a natural plant created by the creator for what ever reason. Is making guns illegal? guns are made specifically to kill and to do damage.I cannot believe that people are still debating this issue in 2010 Really.Who is playing GOD here? This is the real Marfia who makes the fake laws like the fake Fiat money call legal tender(counterfiet) Wake up People.

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