Sunday, September 6, 2009

Viva Mexico!

"Mexico decriminalized small amounts of marijuana, cocaine and heroin on Friday, in a move that creates one of the world's most permissive narcotics markets and that opponents say could complicate President Felipe Calderon's war against illegal drug cartels. ... Mexican prosecutors say the law will help the war on drug gangs by letting federal prosecutors focus their attention on major traffickers rather than small-time users, and by allowing state and municipal police to tackle local dealers. ... Still, Mexico's move could anger some allies in Washington. ... Mexico joins a growing list of countries in Europe and Latin America that are rethinking parts of the decades-long war on illicit drugs. ... Early this year, three former presidents of Mexico, Brazil, and Colombia blasted the drug war as a failure that threatened the stability of countries throughout Latin America and called for the decriminalization of marijuana. ... But rates of drug use have risen steadily, while corrupt Mexican cops have used the law to shake down casual users for hefty bribes", my emphasis, David Luhnow and Jose de Cordoba at the WSJ, 22 August 2009, link:

I applaud Mexico's decision. The losers: corrupt Mexican cops and our DEA. We should follow Mexico. Among other things, our drug war is a foreign policy nightmare. Calderon's next move: repeal all Mexican drug laws! The Mexican prosecutors statement makes no sense. They could always have declined to prosecute possession cases.


rightsaidfred said...

What about the unintended consequences?

I was under the impression that Europe has backed off on their drug liberalization. The heavy end of drug users cultivate a pathological lifestyle that does not improve with encouragement.

Anonymous said...

The heavy end of drug users cultivate a pathological lifestyle that does not improve with encouragement.

I don't think improves much with jail time either!

Amazing that Mexico is more enlightened on this issue... maybe drug enforcement here is just a jobs program with a veneer of morality.

Independent Accountant said...

Grits for Breakfast has a provocative 5 September 2009 post you should read which sympathizes with your position. You can click on my Grits link and find it. We see Parkinson's Law here, "Work expands to fill the time allotted for it", becomes "The number of inmates a state has is a function of available beds". What happens? You build more prisons and parole rates decline. We can't let those prison cells sit idle, can we? I don't worry about drug users "pathological lifestyle". I worry about them robbing the rest of us to get money to buy drugs. From 1792 to 1914 America had no drug laws. Look at a 1908 Sears catalog. You could order opium through the mail. Really. Was evey American a drug addict in 1908? Of course not.

W.C. Varones said...


The Economist just did a story saying Portugal's decriminalization is going great and none of the scare tactics ended up to be true.

rightsaidfred said...

Interesting Economist article. It looks like Portugal substituted treatment for incarceration with good results. Score one for the treatment crowd.

Independent Accountant said...

The US passed the Harrison Act in 1914. Was every American a drug addict in 1914? What nonsense. Repeal the drug laws. Now! The same prigs and idiots who brought us prohibition brought us this plague. Is every American an alcoholic today?