Skip to comments.Legalizing Marijuana: Why Joe Biden Should Listen to Latin America’s Case
Posted on 03/07/2012 12:16:09 PM PST by AnTiw1
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Today, March 6, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden will visit with Pérez and other Central American leaders and, fittingly, theyll meet in Honduras, now home to the worlds highest homicide rate: 86 murders per 100,000 residents last year, 17 times that of the U.S. and five times more than even Mexicos. There are a number of reasons for this Mesoamerican nightmare, including Central Americas hopelessly corrupt and medieval police and judicial systems, which the regions oligarchies (who are content to simply line their mansions with razor wire and security guards) refuse to modernize. But as far as presidents like Pérez are concerned, the root cause is the U.S.s insatiable demand for pot, coke, meth and heroin we spend more on illegal drugs in America than we do on higher education and increasingly theyre coming to the conclusion that a good way to keep los narcos from earning their stratospheric profits, which they use to buy the guns that wreak the mayhem, is to legalize some of the drugs.
The U.S. has responded by reiterating its opposition to decriminalization or legalization of illicit drugs, as one White House official said last week. But there is a broadening global consensus that the 40-year-old war on drugs has failed. So Biden who in Mexico on Monday said there is no possibility the U.S. will back legalization but did add its worth discussing would do well to listen to Pérez and company today in Tegucigalpa and not be a gringo scold when they bring up the legalization issue. Because to a certain if not large extent theyre right: as countless drug-war observers like myself have argued in recent years, it makes sense to legalize at least more benign narcotics like marijuana, a drug that accounts for as much as half of the $30 billion the Mexican narco-cartels rake in each year.
Whats more, marijuana legalization is suddenly gaining acceptance in the U.S. Whereas just five years ago surveys showed Americans opposed it by an almost 2-to-1 margin, a recent Gallup poll showed 50% of them in favor of it and only 46% against it. Colorado and Washington will have the issue on their ballots in the fall, and other states may as well. Thats largely because fewer and fewer of us buy the U.S. drug-war leaderships argument that pot is somehow as personally addictive and socially destructive as harder drugs like cocaine or that its inevitably a gateway to those more dangerous narcotics. Meanwhile, more and more of us are tired of seeing U.S. law enforcement squander as much as $8 billion a year chasing down a drug widely considered no more harmful than alcohol if consumed in moderation.
And Latin American leaders like Calderón, Santos and Pérez know that, which is why their own ears are increasingly deaf now to Washingtons worn out insistence on letting drug cartels instead of tax collectors profit from marijuana sales. Ditto for the former Latin American heads of state who lead the Global Commission on Drug Policy, which calls for legalization. For now, Latin American presidents, including El Salvadors Mauricio Funes and Costa Ricas Laura Chinchilla, are only calling for the issue to be discussed but they want both the U.S. and the U.N. to take that conversation more seriously.
And, the Latin Americans are right on this.
Yes, the Latin Americans are correct about this. However, they’re incorrect about the problems in their own culture and what legalization will do for them. Legalizing weed will create a boom economy here in the United States, since it is easy to grow, the expertise already exists, and you don’t need much capital to produce a good product for those who want it. Think about microbreweries; I’d imagine that each community will have its own local brands. In other words, the export business from Mexico will dry up and die, leaving that country mired in more poverty and corruption.
Of course, the federal government could also get involved and create bureaucratic logjams that might make Mexican weed profitable. In fact, I’m betting our government will do something stupid to mess with the free market, just based on past experience.
Typical liberal crapola. We should legalize drugs so we can end up a third world hell-hole like Mexico?
Marijuana is legal down in old Meh-hee-co. How’s that working out for them, hmmmm?
I get it. I do. Mexico wants to export its murdering drug cartels to the US so they can become legitimate legal businessmen.
But no one but an idiot liberal thinks that is a good idea.
Ive never understood why alcohol is legal and marijuana is not. Now I personally dont drink or smoke now (while not on holiday), but that is a choice which isnt decided on whether something is legal or not. Something like 50% of all arrests are for posession of marijuana, and having smoked my fair share of joints and consuming my share of alcohol while doing my masters in chemical engineering; my opinion that alcohol is way more harmful than marijuana, as marijuana has never caused me to suddenly wake up in the morning and wonder what happened the previous night. If someone wants to use a drug, they use it, the legality of it doesnt change that. That being said, there are a class of drugs such as heroin and crystal meth among others that can be physically debilitating.
I remember reading something about Portugal legalising all drugs, I wonder what the outcomes werein regards to drug use and crime.
Actually, just googled it now and came up with
According to that, it seems to have worked out for them.
Not going to happen, legalization that is.
In fact when it is the turn of conservatives we are going to up the penalties, sentences and punishments of the drug supporters. We are going to repeal medical marijuana and lock up repeat offenders for life.
The enforcement actions against drug dealers and their useful idiots has hardly been serious but it will become very serious once we are in power.
You can fart out of your mouth all you want about the constitution this and the constitution that but we will have the last say when you are locked up behind bars.
We have not yet begun to fight. Not from the conservative grass roots where we put faith in God and value in family. If your drugs ever get within eyeview of our children, you can be assured you will wish you would rather be in Hell as an alternative to where we are going to put you.
You want the nanny state to wipe your ass aswell?
I think the issue is a matter of demographics and the state of the various cultures that make up a country.
American illegal drug users are too stupid, lazy and cowardly to change their own reality, so they use illegal drugs to escape their reality for a few minutes. Let’s hear it for the stupid, lazy chickens! Come on everyone! Hoooray chickens! Go chickens! Give them cheaper drugs! We’re proud of our chickens! There are Americans who could be profiting off your misery instead of Mexicans! Come on pushers! Go you libertarians who want large portions of our population screwed up so your kids can make more money! A big hand for the Democrats who encourage illegal drug use so they can manipulate voters! Hooray for the whole greedy, chickenshit lot of you!
In the year 2000, drug abuse cost American society an estimated $160 billion. More important were the concrete losses that are imperfectly symbolized by those billions of dollarsthe destruction of lives, the damage of addiction, fatalities from car accidents, illness, and lost opportunities and dreams.
Legalization would result in skyrocketing costs that would be paid by American taxpayers and consumers. Legalization would significantly increase drug use and addictionand all the social costs that go with it. With the removal of the social and legal sanctions against drugs, many experts estimate the user population would at least double. For example, a 1994 article in the New England Journal of Medicine stated that it was probable, that if cocaine were legalized, the number of cocaine addicts in America would increase from 2 million to at least 20 million.
This thread is about legalizing marijuana — one, very specific drug. It's quite disingenuous to shift to argument to a discussion of the evils of drugs in general.
You'll get no argument from me about the evils of cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin, methamethemines, and Ecstasy. You should not attempt to conflate these drugs with marijuana. Conservatives should be capable of discriminating between different classes of anything, based on the harm they do.
As for marijuana -- there's a wide spectrum of evidence and opinion regarding the harm it does. Some think it's beneficial -- others think it's harmful. Most think it's less harmful than tobacco or alcohol. There should be no argument that the harm from the WOD outweighs the harm from marijuana. The "War" on drugs started out as more of a metaphor than reality -- we now have a full-scale shooting war. Why? Why not simply regulate marijuana like alcohol, and focus resources on fighting drugs we know are deadly evil?
If it’s legal here the drug cartels won’t be able to compete with Winston Salem and RJ Reynolds for price or quality control. Unless we totally screw it up with over taxation. That’s why bootlegging became mostly a hobby once prohibition ended. People who want a product that’s illegal are willing to buy from the black market, but once it become legal and the product is sold in Circle-K the black market shrinks very dramatically. Mexico was a mess before they legalized pot, and since the primary market for their pot sellers is us not them that legalization didn’t really do much.
Ahhh, the nanny state argument. Lame as ever.
What’s next? As if I didn’t know.
Next you’ll try and convince us that the WOD is as wrong as Prohibition.
After all, there is no difference between alcohol and crack or meth, huh?
Anybody that thinks talking about the Constitution is farting isn’t a conservative. If actual conservatives actually took over they’d point out that the drug war is not only a massive fiscal failure but a complete and total raping of the Constitution and end it in a cold second.
If its legal here the drug cartels wont be able to compete with Winston Salem and RJ Reynolds for price or quality control..
Quite the opposite is true. It’s the “kids: at Winston Salem and RJ Reynolds who won’t be able to compete with the “grown-ups” from the Mexican cartels.
The Mexican cartels run a trillion dollar industry. They run Mexico for that matter. Do you think they will just roll over and let go of their cash cow if America legalized dope?
The only way a complete surrender in the WOD would work would be to allow the Cartels to become successful legitimate US corporations.
Is that what you want?
Wrong as usual - personal possession of small amounts is legal.
Hows that working out for them, hmmmm?
Well, before decriminalization they were a paradise, so ...
there's a big difference...alcohol and tobacco use are the cause of 93% of all drug-related deaths...over a half million Americans a year
marijuana consumption has killed zero people in US history
Because legalizing drugs won't stop at marijuana. Anyone who thinks it will is the world's largest idiot.
“Marijuana is legal down in old Meh-hee-co. Hows that working out for them, hmmmm?”
Your assumption is that the culture in Mexico, independent of the legalization of MJ, has nothing to do with Mexico’s problems and that legalization of MJ in Mexico has everything to do with Mexico’s problems.
Yet three factors alone in Mexican culture - education, economics and corruption have more to do with Mexico’s problems than anything else and would still be driving Mexico’s problems no matter whether MJ was illegal or not.
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