Friday, April 17, 2009

Please Legalize Drugs And Stop The Violence

As the drug cartels terrorize Mexico and various border towns, they are bringing drugs by the truckload to the streets of the U.S.

An article in today's Texas Observer talks about the border towns of El Paso/Juarez, as the embattled citizens of that area cope with the violence and kidnappings.

...While El Pasoans argue over semantics and statistics, residents in Juarez fight for their lives as innocent bystanders in a battle over who will sell cocaine and marijuana to the world’s biggest drug consumer. The Obama administration appears to be looking at the problem from a fresh perspective, shifting U.S. policy to focus more on the promotion of substance-abuse treatment and prevention, and less on the drug war. During her March visit to Mexico, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that battling cartel violence should be a shared responsibility and emphasized that America needs to curb its demand for illegal drugs. That’s a decidedly different political tack from the Bush years, when all the talk was about bigger walls, increased firepower, and Mexico’s responsibility for the problem. Other high-level administration officials have been dispatched to Mexico with messages similar to Clinton's, including Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano and Attorney General Eric Holder...

Let's get real. The only solution to this problem is to legalize drugs and burst the money bubble that is fueling this frenzy. When cartel bosses can make millions, and illiterate street punks can be rolling in dough dealing drugs, there is no "war" that will ever stop the tide of drugs flowing into the U.S.

Another small matter is that the lax gun laws in the U.S. allows unscrupulous gun dealers here to supply these cartels with the weapons they use to enforce the terror they bestow. Guns and drugs flow across the border like water.

So, the bottom line is to legalize drugs, and sell them at low cost to all adults who want them. Put the money used in this futile war into prevention, education and treatment of drug users.

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