Last month I wrote a letter postulating that by decriminalizing prostitution and drug use and treating these things as health issues that we would actually decrease the number of addicts, reduce prison overcrowding and increase public safety. In fact the experiment in Portugal, where possession and use of illicit street drugs has been decriminalized, has shown the validity of this approach. Recent news of record marijuana busts in tunnels supplying the United States from Mexico have prompted me to write again.
Delivery of illegal drugs ( primarily marijuana ) from Mexico to the United States is higher than ever. Also, drug war violence is at an all-time high and continues to escalate; in spite of ( or perhaps because of ) ever-increasing aid to Mexico to fight the war. Since December 2006, when President Felipe Calderon made the decision to begin escalating the drug war, it is estimated that there have been 45,000 casualties in Mexico.
The more that we spend fighting the war, the more the price of drugs is increased. This in turn provides greater income for the cartels, which then buy more weapons, of which a majority come from U.S. firearms dealers.
Sadly, attempts to limit sales of semi-automatic weapons greater than .22 caliber and with the ability to accept a detachable magazine, have been opposed by lobbying groups for the gun dealers, while the National Sport Shooting Federation has stated, “we applaud President Calderon’s willingness to take on his country’s powerful drug ,” but that is another letter.
According to former presidents Fernando Henrique Cardoso of Brazil, Ernesto Zedillo of Mexico and Cesar Gaviria of Colombia, the U.S.-led drug war is pushing Latin America into a downward spiral. The Council on Hemispheric Affairs states it is time to seriously consider drug decriminalization and legalization, a policy initiative that would be in direct opposition to the interests of criminal gangs. Because of the vast amounts of money at the disposal of the cartels, bribery of law enforcement and military is a common practice. This results in human rights violations including illegal arrests, secret and prolonged detention, torture, rape, extrajudicial execution and fabrication of evidence.
The policies of our government are directly responsible for creating a hellish environment in Mexico and it is spreading to other Latin American countries.
Source: Holland Sentinel (MI)
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