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Linda in Morelia

Mar 5, 2009, 2:17 PM

Post #1 of 36 (6012 views)

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US policy and Mexico's war on drugs

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As an American now living in Mexico, I commend for your reading two interesting opinion pieces on the drug war in Mexico that were both published recently in the Wall Street Journal. Both speak about something too seldom seen in the US press—America’s hypocricy about its drug problem and its impact on Mexico. While I find several things to disagree with in both pieces (mostly political jabs not central to their theses), and while they have somewhat different takes on the problem and the solutions, taken together they paint a picture of the US government’s inability to face up to some facts. US citizens’ demand for drugs is unabated and funds the cartels, the US keeps drug laws on the books that are less enforced by its police yet unlikely to be overturned, and the US’s financial aid to Mexico to solve the US’s drug problems has been paltry. While Mexico’s government has historically been a large part of the problem, Mexico’s crusading President Calderón and his administration deserve respect and much greater assistance from the US in their efforts.
Jim
A Stimulus Plan for Mexican Gangsters http://online.wsj.com/...595140575504953.html
In Praise of Mexico's War on Drugs http://online.wsj.com/...604341688015233.html



HarryinNM

Mar 6, 2009, 8:19 AM

Post #2 of 36 (5918 views)

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Re: [Jim and Linda] US policy and Mexico's war on drugs

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Yes, Jim and Linda, I also read those WSJ pieces with considerable interest.

While I do understand that the idea of drug legalization is an unpopular one with many (including our law enforcement people), it would remove so much of the financial incentive for the cartels. Just turning a blind eye to medical marijuana is, in my view, going to do little to curtail the trade and resultant violence.

Prohibition clearly did not work with the drug alcohol, and it isn't working at all with the present array of illegal substances.

Harry


Rolly


Mar 6, 2009, 8:28 AM

Post #3 of 36 (5913 views)

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Re: [HarryinNM] US policy and Mexico's war on drugs

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All too often emotion blocks common sense. We are going to continue spending billions when a change in direction could actually be a source of revenue for the government. We seem to be awfully slow learners.

And poor México will continue to bear a heavy load because of the USA's problem.

Rolly Pirate


(This post was edited by Rolly on Mar 6, 2009, 8:31 AM)


HarryinNM

Mar 6, 2009, 2:21 PM

Post #4 of 36 (5860 views)

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Re: [Jim and Linda] US policy and Mexico's war on drugs

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I was most pleased to read Rolly's response to my earlier post. Then came to my inbox a column by conservative Patrick Buchanan which recalled

Mao Zedong's communists killed users and suppliers alike, as social parasites. Milton Friedman's way is to decriminalize drugs and call off the war.
When Richard Nixon declared the War on Drugs in 1972, Milton, writing in Newsweek, objected on ethical grounds:
"On ethical grounds, do we have the right to use the machinery of government to prevent an individual from becoming an alcoholic or a drug addict? For children, almost everyone would answer at least a qualified yes. But for responsible adults, I, for one, would answer no. Reason with the potential addict, yes. Tell him the consequences, yes. Pray for and with him, yes. But I believe that we have no right to use force, directly or indirectly, to prevent a fellow man from committing suicide, let alone from drinking alcohol or taking drugs."
"Am I my brother's keeper?'" asked Milton, answering, "No."
The entire column is available at the link below-
{http://vdare.com/buchanan/090305_mexico.htm}



db52

Mar 6, 2009, 7:07 PM

Post #5 of 36 (5828 views)

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Re: [HarryinNM] US policy and Mexico's war on drugs

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Unless the supplier countries legalize the production of dope, we would have to produce it all domestically. Probably not a real big problem for marijuana, meth, and synthetics like ecstasy and LSD, but I'm not sure if coca, opium poppies, or peyote can be grown successfully in the US. Any ideas?


Oscar2

Mar 6, 2009, 10:57 PM

Post #6 of 36 (5791 views)

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Re: [db52] US policy and Mexico's war on drugs

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Quote
Unless the supplier countries legalize the production of dope, we would have to produce it all domestically. Probably not a real big problem for marijuana, meth, and synthetics like ecstasy and LSD, but I'm not sure if coca, opium poppies, or peyote can be grown successfully in the US. Any ideas?



Not by a stretch, am I an expert on this issue but if the USA can’t produce the above, then third world countries would be happy too. Probably in a competitive inexpensive legal rate and import, taxes accordingly would further generate US income.


db52

Mar 7, 2009, 8:54 AM

Post #7 of 36 (5750 views)

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Re: [Oscar2] US policy and Mexico's war on drugs

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What makes you think the governments of these countries would be "happy" to produce narcotics for the U.S.? Are President Uribe of Columbia or Mexico's Calderon just going to do an "about-face" and reverse their policies because the U.S. legalizes dope?--and even if they were so inclined, the big cartels would not be likely to capitulate and throw up their hands and say "oh, well, we'd better go look for other jobs now, because drug production is going to be all regulated and above-board from now on and we won't be able to make any more money from it."


HarryinNM

Mar 7, 2009, 10:33 AM

Post #8 of 36 (5724 views)

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Re: [db52] US policy and Mexico's war on drugs

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Were the US to legalize all presently illegal drugs, the present pharma industry would, likely, take the opportunity to market those items OTC just like cough syrups and antacids. The potency and purity would be more uniform (not saying "better or worse") and the business activity would be subject to taxation. The financial incentives that now drive the illicit drug trade to the US market would wither and die.

Whether or not other countries elected to supply these drugs to the market would have little or no import.

The moral-social-medical-treatment issues would, of course, be only slightly modified.

Or, am I missing something here?

Harry


Don


Mar 7, 2009, 11:04 AM

Post #9 of 36 (5715 views)

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Re: [HarryinNM] US policy and Mexico's war on drugs

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What makes one think that legalizing drugs will eliminate drug cartels and save the U.S. money. Drug cartels will under sell the drugs produced by the U.S. as they would not tax their product and could grow it cheaper with less middlemen to pay. Also, they would still have the underage to sell to, or are people advocating making drug consumtion legal for all ages?
There are many illegal things our country has been fighting for years and we are nowhere close to winning those battles. If making something legal is the way to correct the problem and save money, why not legalize everything. Think of the money to be saved. NO police, no jails, no prisons, no judges and no lawyers.



Oscar2

Mar 7, 2009, 11:35 AM

Post #10 of 36 (5695 views)

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Re: [db52] US policy and Mexico's war on drugs

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Quote
What makes you think the governments of these countries would be "happy" to produce narcotics for the U.S.? Are President Uribe of Columbia or Mexico's Calderon just going to do an "about-face" and reverse their policies because the U.S. legalizes dope?



That is an excellent question and as I mentioned before when you asked for suggestions, I’m not a politician nor do I pretend to be in a position to draw conclusion, nor presuppose what anyone is going to do, much less determine what Uribe or Calderon is going to do.

But on the surface since the US is supposedly a world leader and many lock step in what the US grapples with and moves forward with in this world, some will follow. That said, now here we go into presupposing, maybe some other country, not necessarily Mexico or Central America will follow but then again, who knows who will?


Quote
--and even if they were so inclined, the big cartels would not be likely to capitulate and throw up their hands and say "oh, well, we'd better go look for other jobs now, because drug production is going to be all regulated and above-board from now on and we won't be able to make any more money from it."



Now since you bring up these question, let’s see what your imagination can come up with since it appears easy for you to come up with the questions. Questions are a dime a dozen, but answers at this stage of the game, are probably worth 25 cents……Laugh Especially since it’s all conjecture, anyway….

Conjecture: Well, if legalization came into being, would the cartel need to kill each other trying to gain boarder territorial rights?

Will cartels burn and kill those who are gainfully employed in legitimate drug crop raising?

Or will the cartels legitimize their business and become part of the system and still continue making a profit at US expense but have to pay import taxes, like the US pharmacies will have to do, as well?

I’m not going to stand on a soap box pretending I have the answers, because I and you don’t but yes, we can talk and talk some more, as is usually the case. Right now yes, its all ether and entertaining, so lets get real serious here so we can accomplish more of whatever it is we think we’re doing …… which amounts to what………..?


db52

Mar 7, 2009, 12:04 PM

Post #11 of 36 (5684 views)

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Re: [HarryinNM] US policy and Mexico's war on drugs

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"The financial incentives that now drive the illicit drug trade to the US market would wither and die."

I guess this point could be argued, but I see another problem. Would it not then become a lucrative enterprise to take the legal, pure, potent ("The most trusted name in meth") US-manufactured recreational drugs to Canada or France or Japan or wherever and sell them there, where they would presumably still be illegal and able to command a higher price? In other words we would see, perhaps, an illicit drug trade not "to the US market" but from the US and to other countries.

In a related topic, there has been talk recently in the news about how the great majority of weapons used by Mexican drug gangs are coming from the US. This is supposed to be America's fault because weapons are more easily obtained in the US and then smuggled to Mexico. But if the solution to America's problem of drugs coming in from Mexico is to legalize the drugs, why doesn't Mexico just legalize private ownership of firearms? Problem solved! Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander! (Or is it more fun to blame the US for both the drugs and the guns, logic be damned?)



db52

Mar 7, 2009, 12:28 PM

Post #12 of 36 (5678 views)

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Re: [Oscar2] US policy and Mexico's war on drugs

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I'll do the best I can to answer.

Well, if legalization came into being, would the cartel need to kill each other trying to gain boarder territorial rights? Judging by past practice,
I think they'd do whatever it takes to gain advantage over competition, so the answer is yes.

Will cartels burn and kill those who are gainfully employed in legitimate drug crop raising? Do they burn and kill farmers now? I'm not aware of this, but if it is part of the present business model and has worked out pretty good so far, I would expect the practice to continue.

Or will the cartels legitimize their business and become part of the system and still continue making a profit at US expense but have to pay import taxes, like the US pharmacies will have to do, as well? Criminals going straight doesn't strike me as likely. I think there will still be plenty of opportunity in the kidnapping and extortion fields.





Oscar2

Mar 7, 2009, 8:22 PM

Post #13 of 36 (5621 views)

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Re: [db52] US policy and Mexico's war on drugs

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Db52, like the general questions I asked you, in turn, I received general answers. Non of them were and won’t be absolutes because the only absolute I know of since the advent of thought is “change!” And I don’t mean the change in your pocket..

The exercise of posturing to try to convince and be seen in the eyes of others most of the time as being “right” not only can it be a waste of time but can also be very sad. Why, because this means and internally asks the question of how many legions of those must you make “wrong” through arguments or whatever to make you feel content with this questionable need to be “right?”

It’s a vicious cycle “awareness” does not respect nor envy. Why, because yes, it too is ego based, and can be destructive in the hands and minds of some, whose motives are also questionable. Perhaps this is why I don’t enjoy saber rattling or pointless posturing. But hey, we both know there are plenty of them out there crowding legitimate (?) lobbies and the populous with the same stealth criminal minds as those you reference in cartels. But then again, that’s a different story …….or is it….really? I’m out of here…senior.


db52

Mar 7, 2009, 8:56 PM

Post #14 of 36 (5610 views)

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Re: [Oscar2] US policy and Mexico's war on drugs

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I'm not posturing or invested in being right, but just saying that legalizing or decriminalizing dope would, in my opinion, create a whole new set of problems that are sometimes overlooked or glossed over by those who think this is the way to go.

The dope problem is a tough nut to crack, that is for sure.

(And thanks to the site bosses for opening up the forums again for me and the rest of the cheapskates!)


HarryinNM

Mar 8, 2009, 10:13 AM

Post #15 of 36 (5575 views)

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Re: [db52] US policy and Mexico's war on drugs

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Surely, there will be new problems resulting from legalization. As with the repeal of prohibition, though, they are likely to be far less severe than the present horrors.

See: {http://cominganarchy.com/2009/03/08/want-to-save-mexico-rethink-drug-policy/}

for another take the the situation.

Harry


Oscar2

Mar 8, 2009, 3:15 PM

Post #16 of 36 (5528 views)

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Re: [HarryinNM] US policy and Mexico's war on drugs

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Harry, here is another entry, which I found not only interesting but also quite convincing. It sounds like a direction, which is in its time and well needed.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/...06_sunstamper04.html


HarryinNM

Mar 8, 2009, 5:59 PM

Post #17 of 36 (5491 views)

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Re: [Oscar2] US policy and Mexico's war on drugs

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Oscar-

That's a great post! Former police chief Norm Stamper certainly offers a solid perspective on legalization. And, his knowledge and suggestion comes from having been in the trenches of this 35+ year old "unwinable war on drugs". I hope "db52" reads Stamper's op-ed piece and responds.

Harry


donemry

Mar 9, 2009, 6:26 AM

Post #18 of 36 (5445 views)

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Re: [HarryinNM] US policy and Mexico's war on drugs

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Problems, I would think so. Remember that the repeal of Prohibition was just that a repeal of a law that stopped a business structure from selling alcohol as it had been doing for thousands of years. When the repeal occurred, the same people (more or less) opened the same locations with the same business structures. There is no exisiting, desirable structure for distributing drugs in the US or Canada at the retail level.


HarryinNM

Mar 9, 2009, 8:52 AM

Post #19 of 36 (5422 views)

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Re: [donemry] US policy and Mexico's war on drugs

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Sure we have. They are called pharmacies.

h


donemry

Mar 9, 2009, 9:07 AM

Post #20 of 36 (5418 views)

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Re: [HarryinNM] US policy and Mexico's war on drugs

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Pharmacies in the US and Canada have no history of unrestricted sales of leisure use drugs. They sell by prescription from a doctor. There is no history of placing the responsibility of controlling leisure use drugs in the doctors office. My point is that there never has been an exisiting distribution structure for leisure use drugs other than the current illegal methods. Therefore, the comparison to the repeal of prohibition is invalid.


sillyweirdo

Mar 10, 2009, 1:48 AM

Post #21 of 36 (5311 views)

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Re: [Oscar2] US policy and Mexico's war on drugs

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I think it was a brave rather intelligent article that he wrote.


garrycouch

Mar 10, 2009, 4:49 PM

Post #22 of 36 (5230 views)

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Re: [Jim and Linda] US policy and Mexico's war on drugs

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Folks, there is no War on Drugs in the U.S., per se.... not even much of a skirmish. Have friends in
law enforcement in three different states..... they almost joke about the concept. Congressmen
know all of the right words but none of the actions. VIVA MEXICO.


sparks


Mar 10, 2009, 4:55 PM

Post #23 of 36 (5228 views)

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Re: [db52] US policy and Mexico's war on drugs

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If the idea is to break the drug cartels .... you give drugs away for as long as it takes. Breaking the drug cartels who are major contributors to destabilizing these economies and societies should be the focus .... let alone the wasted time and money internally in the US

Dispensing of drugs is monitored per individual, recorded, taxed .... and is not going to become an export business due to small volumes

Sparks Mexico - Sparks Costalegre


delmaracer

Mar 10, 2009, 8:19 PM

Post #24 of 36 (5155 views)

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Re: [Don] US policy and Mexico's war on drugs

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In 1976, the Netherlands decriminalised possession of soft drugs such as cannabis. To cater for demand, outlets quickly cropped up in around the country, specifically in the capital, Amsterdam. These establishments are known as 'coffee shops', but most patrons don't hang out there for a caffeine fix. It's dope that floats their boat. Additionally, the sex trade was totally open.

Well, Amsterdam, the city of tolerance is tightening the Rules on its red light district (human trafficking) and marijuana coffee-shops.
THe cost to address the health of drug addicts, spending on drug control is by far the highest in Europe (almost 0.7% of GDP). Drug tourism from all around Europe has skyrocketed. Oddly, there is an EU smoking ban in public places, the Dutch citizens will face the bizarre situation of being allowed to smoke a cannabis joint, but not allowed to smoke a cigarette in a coffee shop.


What are the results?
A fundamental principle in economic science is that supply and price of a product affect its demand. With cannabis legally and plentifully available, its use is much higher in Amsterdam (almost 3 times more) than in the rest of the country (note: 80% of Dutch municipalities do not allow the sale of marijuana).
Furthermore, in Amsterdam marijuana consumption is well above EU averages - and these figures do not count the tourists.


Tightening the rules - most importantly, Amsterdam is taking measures to reduce the number of coffee shops and sex clubs, to reflect policy and attitude changes about both. Country-wide, the number of coffee shops has dropped by a third in the past decade: the number of people seeking treatment for cannabis-related health problems has doubled in the same period (overweight from eating too much, hehehe).

All over the world, the drug and sex trade go together, often accompanied by violence and crime, spread of infectious diseases, and human sex trafficking, creating some unimaginable horror stories.
The care centers for addicts have increased, as has criminal behaviour related to the use of approved and non approved drugs resulting in overcrowding of jails, mental health problems, and physical health problems.

The population of Amsterdam is about 740,000. The cost related to the drug tolerance in Amsterdam is, as a percentage of the GDP, excessively high. I can't imaging that the social engineers in America have given this much thought.

So, that is the rest of the story about legalizing/decriminalizing drug use in the U.S.

Delmar Bob


(This post was edited by delmaracr on Mar 10, 2009, 8:35 PM)


johanson


Mar 10, 2009, 9:49 PM

Post #25 of 36 (5138 views)

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Re: [delmaracr] US policy and Mexico's war on drugs

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I am surprised by the facts. I lived in the Netherlands when I was in my early 20s working for the US Gov. And I will have to admit, the first time I ever tried pot I was in NL. Thanks for your comments. I never would have guessed that pot would do anything to you more than give you the munchies. doctors would tell me in both the States and Europe that smoking cigarettes was more harmful than pot

Also I don't consider pot and sex any more connected than drinking and sex. But I am no expert. What does this have to do with Mexico? I am not sure. But pot, which I do not smoke is readily available here as well. My three drugs of choice here in Mexico are Lipitor, caffeine and of course medicated Bacardi .
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