In other news, no Mexicans killed over Corona Beer

Screenshot from CBS News website

A loyal NORML reader notes the unintended irony in the AP photo accompanying CBS News’ coverage of the 28,000 Mexicans who’ve been killed in the drug war south of our border.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has remarked that “Clearly what we’ve been doing has not worked,” and “Our insatiable demand for illegal drugs fuels the drug trade.” Sec’y Clinton notes that “Neither interdiction [of drugs] nor reducing demand have been successful.”

Yet Americans have a far more insatiable demand for beer than they do cannabis and drugs.  Some of those beers, like Corona, even provide an export market for Mexico and jobs for poor Mexicans.

And nobody turns up tortured and dead under a Budweiser banner, either.

If what we’ve done for thirty years hasn’t worked, if our demand is insatiable, if interdiction is not successful, what other possible way could we deal with marijuana – a product more than half of all Americans under age 50 have tried and 10% of American adults enjoy annually?

The solution to the problem in that photograph isn’t found by going after the murderous criminals who put that banner on the ground.  It’s found in the lessons we learned seventy-seven years ago that led to a beer company putting its banner on the wall.

52 thoughts

  1. Mostly agreed. However, any product that uses water, and thus seeks to control water rights in politically weakened and/or crooked, and/or economically unstable countries is responsible, in one way or another, for deaths “under their banner”. Coke is the best known of these villains, but wherever there is water and the poor and money to be made, you can be sure there is a trail of suffering and death under whomever’s banner.

  2. Isn’t it ironic? I really do think.

    Dude. The remarks on facebook are outrageous. I wonder who among them enjoy alcohol on a regular basis. Sheesh.


  3. Im quite sure that way more than 10% of American adults enjoy marijuana everyday. As a matter of fact Im quite sure the number is more like 80%, considering that if you actually took a pole of how many Americans smoke marijuana, half if not more of the no answers would actually be a lie. There are so many people out there who lie and say they dont smoke just for the simple fact that its illegal and they dont want to get in trouble.

  4. @ shromer

    Why wouldn’t the drug violence be over marijuana? It grosses far more than coke or other hard drugs every year. The cartels may be psychopaths, but I bet they have better business sense than you.

  5. It’s very sad Obama doesn’t step up to the plate and legalize the stuff. It would stop all this violence!!!!

  6. The cartels are taking over the boarder only because since 9.11.01 America began operation columbia which made it harder for columbians to bring over coke and crack. But now since the political manuevering by the government has shifted the drug trade from South America straight to our backyard in N. America, Mexico, we are realizing that America’s approach to everything in life, (including the economy) is a failure. It worked in the past because we were the strongest, but we gave away our strength with our jobs (outsourcing) and our credibility (crinimal american banks that control the world). America is past it’s prime and might as well let us smoke weed until the end comes.

  7. @Shromer 60% of the cartel’s profits are from cannabis sales alone, now that’s just a conservative estimate but I’d say its even more considering that cannabis use in the US is far higher than cocaine or other drug use. So, a majority of the violence, and profits, and deaths, are attributable to the illegal cannabis trade which could be ended if the US legalized cannabis sales and production.

  8. Prohibitionist like to blame it on the United States demand on marijuana, but they would not acknowledge that prohibition is the cause of all the drug violence. So what if all drugs are legalized. Those who are addicted just need help instead of being damned.

  9. The prestige of government has undoubtedly been lowered considerably by the prohibition law. For nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced. It is an open secret that the dangerous increase of crime in this country is closely connected with this.” Albert Einstein

  10. The last reply I made: I am very aware where the argument would lead to. What about the children? or What if ….? That still happens under prohibition!

  11. legalizing marijuana here would not only take marijuana out of the cartel business, but would open the door for Mexico to legalize marijuana, which they would probably do if we did, and if so, would open the door for Mexicans to have legitimate financially viable jobs in their own country, and so would reduce the flow of illegal immigrants. Would be a win-win-win situation.

  12. legalize, i hope michelle obama enjoyed her vacation in spain while her country is fucked up with stupid laws.

  13. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has remarked that “Clearly what we’ve been doing has not worked,” and “Our insatiable demand for illegal drugs fuels the drug trade.” Sec’y Clinton notes that “Neither interdiction [of drugs] nor reducing demand have been successful.”

    So Hilly, that means there are only two options left. 1) More criminalization of cannabis, SPENDING continuously large sums of money and making the entire planet a prison.


    2) Legalizing, regulating and taxing cannabis which will put a hole in the cartels pocketbook, MAKING money for the US and the world a more free and happy place.

    By the way, why did at least two planes that used to belong or belong to the CIA crash in Mexico laden with tons of cocaine? Does this have anything to do with Bill’s and Bush Sr.’s operation in Mena?

  14. Those thousands of deaths in Mexico should rightfully be added to the charges against prohibitionists when they are finally brought to justice for their crimes against humanity in a drug war they started and continue to wage against peoples of the world. There was a time in this country when there was no illegal drug use. That wasn’t good enough for prohibitionists. If there is a God in heaven I pray they will burn in hell for the decades of death and destruction they have needlessly inflicted on millions of people around the world, innocent people doing no harm to another and simply exercising their God-given inalienable rights. How about prohibitionists simply mind their own damn business, or go join the Taliban where both groups can continue to do the same things, the same ways, for the same reasons and for the same kinds of people?!!!!! What would it be like to live in a free country?

  15. Ummmm… shromer — wrongo –
    Just across the border from El Paso, in Juarez, the number of deaths mount every day – the reason? Cartels are fighting over turf regarding one substance —


    Legalize now!

  16. Is NORML prepared to start spending big on political advertising on short notice this october/november? I hope you guys realize that donations are going to pick up fast the closer to the california election it gets, and people will need you to spend it on political ads. This is the chance to get it legalized

  17. The argument was stated eloquently. “What’s wrong with this picture?” It’s so plain. It’s like people are walking around in a trance, seeing only what they want to see. But how can you blame people when the public education system socializes people to be fearful when thinking of “drugs” from an early, vulnerable age. We’ve been socialized into fixating on fear and associating “ruin your life” with “smoking a joint” when you never see ads that say, “Kids. Never drink.” It is folly for the government to say alcohol is okay, binge drinking at 21 is an acceptable rite of passage (maybe a gateway? but that Cannabis is not okay.

    Patriarchal or parental government, obviously, is unAmerican. The government’s job is not to play the parent yet that is exactly what has been going on.

  18. The point that prohibition is the cause of all of the deaths seems to have gone right over the heads of our government officials. When will they actually understand that you can’t make a substance disappear from the earth when it is in such high demand.

  19. As long as the world only cares about money there will always be violent suffering. And since man is one of the stupidest of God’s creation which acts irrational towards material objects, the suffering will never stop. Down with the human race, it’s time to go motherfuckers.

  20. This photo fits quite well with something I have said many time when discussing legalization, “When is the last time you ever saw anybody standing on a street corner trying to sell a sixpak of Miller lite?”

  21. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has remarked that “Clearly what we’ve been doing has not worked,”…

    Was it not her that declared the violence was a sign of success, at the same time when a family or some journalist(s) turned up dead ?

    Get these fuckweeds (harhar) out of these positions ! Dahh I make declarative statements that I don’t back and say the opposite thing half a year later.

    [Russ responds: No, that was Bush Administration’s Deputy DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart. The remarks were uttered on April 15, 2009:

    Skyrocketing violence south of the border indicates the Mexican government’s efforts to fight drug cartels are paying off, senior Drug Enforcement Administration officials said on Wednesday.

    “Our view is that the violence we have been seeing is a signpost of the success our very courageous Mexican counterparts are having,” said Michele Leonhart, acting DEA administrator. “The cartels are acting out like caged animals, because they are caged animals.”

    Ms. Leonhart also blocked scientific research in cannabis’ medical properties. DEA judge Mary Ellen Bittner ruled that rejecting the request by a UMass Amherst professor and researcher to grow research grade cannabis would not be in the public interest. Acting Administrator Leonhart went against the judge’s ruling and maintained the government monopoly of growing cannabis at the University of Mississippi, where some of the weakest, schwaggiest weed in America is grown for four remaining federal medical marijuana patients.

    Therefore, President Obama, who claimed to usher in a new administration with respect for scientific integrity, has rewarded Michele Leonhart for her work by nominating her to be the next DEA Administrator. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

    I guess when it comes to wars on drugs (Leonhart) and people (Sec’y of Defense Gates), if you had hope it would be different than under Mr. Bush, you’ve discovered Mr. Obama isn’t all that interested in change.]

  22. I mean this in no sarcastic tone, but I love the comments here! I believe we have our proverbial “shit together”. The timing of the Mexican government considering debates on the merits of legalization coinciding with California’s Prop 19 may just be the things to bring the prohibitionist’s wall of shame down. Our time is now, and we must act fast because the prohibitionists will be on our heals the whole way through until WE get this done! It is time to speak out in our clearest voices so that all who doubt us will know the truths about cannabis from a science based perspective all while dispelling their reefer madness bull-crap. If the things the prohibitionists have said were true about cannabis, then we’d all be dead, or perhaps reefer crazed ax murdering zombie hippies from hell! I mean seriously, read the posts throughout NORML’s site and you will see well written perspectives, which coincidentally takes brain power. Didn’t the prohibitionists tell us at one point that it causes permanent brain damage=FAIL. This is our time! Peace.

  23. its not going anywhere, the war on drugs is a complete and total abysmal failure, just legalize it so i dont have to worry about a bunch of pigs kicking down my door again for minding my own business and smoking a bowl after work.

  24. The time to legalize is overdue. It’s typical of the U.S. government to show indifference to all the deaths in Mexico and just worry about sending Mexico military aid for their side and putting National Guard troops on the U.S.side. Such archaic containment domino theory type approaches would be effective is there was no trade or extremely restricted trade, even an embargo, with Mexico. No, because there is NAFTA. How much is a human life worth? Apparently Mexican lives are less important to the U.S. prohibitionists than American lives. You can bet that if the 28,000 were American lives cannabis would be legal already. This is the worst case of NIMBY (not in my back yard) on the part of the U.S. government ever, and it’s still going on!

    This problem will not be solved until cannabis is legalized. We can’t make progress on the North American Super Corridor until we have a handle on the people and goods coming seamlessly through the borders, and we can’t have a unified North American Dollar to compete on par with the euro until we have a secure trade zone,including some sort of guest worker program and immigration revamp.

  25. I’m sure that theres plenty of pot production in mexico but there is a lot more money to be made smuggling coke. Marijuana comes to the US from all over the world, but I think that most of the money is made from the pot grown in our country. Cocaine really only comes from South America and usually has to go through Mexico to get here. Almost all of our coke comes through mexico to drug cartels who control the dozens of tunnels into the US. Thats what they are fighting over. Just try and compare the value of a brick of pure cocaine to a brick of that shwag they grow there.

  26. We must also pray, those who believe in God, or to a spiritual power of your choice, that this Prop 19 becomes a reality.

    I propose that the theme of the Norml convention should be “Prop 19 Yes”, free at last.

  27. I hear some objection to prop 19 is that this bill allows “communities” to ban the sale of cannabis; something which they cannot do under prop 215. Is this an acurate statement or reason?

  28. It’s been nearly 4 years after Presidente ( that’s spanish ) Felipe Calderon launched a military – led crackdown against drug traffickers and the cartels are now smuggling more narcotics into the USA than ever . The cartels are amassing bigger fortunes & extending their dominance at home with such savagery that swaths of Mexico are now without authority . Marijuana accounts for more drug seizures than Heroin , Cocaine & Methamphetamine combined .
    There has been no slowing of the drug flow coming out of Mexico with more than 28,000 people being killed since Calderon announced his offensive to stop drug traffickers .
    The increasing violence is escalating due in part to people such as , Senator Feinstein , Rubio ( who through his ignorance has donated $20,000.00 of his own money in an attempt to defeat Propostion 19 ) of California & a host of other politicians who continue to fight against the legalization of Cannabis & not knowingly are causing this increasing & senseless violence South & even North of the border.

  29. Just Say Now

    “A transpartisan coalition of prosecutors, judges, cops, students, bloggers and political operatives on both sides of the aisle launched a campaign Tuesday to bring an end to marijuana prohibition, focusing on ballot initiatives in 2010 and 2012. The campaign, “Just Say Now,” gets its name from Nancy Reagan’s iconic anti-drug slogan from the 1980s that has become synonymous with the government’s black-and-white approach to drug policy.”

  30. Mi say: via la mexico, at lest they are killing the rights ones… AUTHORITY… YA MON! in any war the citzens are the ones that get hurt the most. sorry fe dem. look at IRAQ over a million citzens dead. how many soldiers dead, from that war… Mexico is the third world, they are hungery. how many people do them gangs feed and house. you take away there living and they are going to start killing. they kill the judges,police,mayors,and polliticains…ie; AUTHORITY, the right ones. not like the stupid americians that kill each other. if the americains would have kill authority, these laws would have been change a long time ago. VIA LA MEXICO… one lov PEACE… Our Liberties We Prize, and Our Rights We will Maintain….

  31. ya mon, mi forgot to add the narcs, informers, and snitches. the real low lifes… VIA LA MEXICO… them two laying there are snithches… they made them good snithches…

  32. How does a government just sit back and watch it citizens kill each other? It sounds like they ‘justify’ it by saying that they’re all in the drug trade, but that just doesn’t make sense. July alone there was 1200+ murders? How many people do these cartels employ if they can stand those kinds of losses and keep operating. Where is the safety for the citizens? I can’t believe the US government pushes these types of wars with disregard for the citizens. They just did the same think in Jamaica going after that other supposed drug lord. I think the ‘drug lord’ term is a convenient lie for the powers that be to go take out whoever they want.. plant some coke and pot and boom.. it’s all legal and legit.. it’s a travesty..

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