Sunday, May 10, 2009

Why Is Obama Silent on Mexico's Legislation to Decriminalize Cocaine and Marijuana?

Just recently, the Mexican Congress passed legislation to decriminalize having small amounts of cocaine and marijuana.

The legislation also puts the power of enforcing the law onto the local and state officials instead of maintaining the power with the federal government of Mexico.

There in lies the problem. The legislation puts the power where the corruption is most prevalent; in the local police and state government. The law, in effect will aid the corruption and will just make the cartels more powerful.

The question should be asked, why has Obama been silent on this?

I found an interesting read on the topic of the decriminalization from the Wall Street Journal and the article may offer some insight into why Obama is silent.

Steven Duke wrote an Op-ed for the Wall Street Journal and wrote in support of decriminalizing the drugs by saying the drugs could be taxed and profits would decrease thus the violence would decrease.

Could this be a reason for Obama's silence?

Steven cites American history and the prohibition as proof that this may work.

The drug-fueled murders and mayhem in Mexico bring to mind the Prohibition-era killings in Chicago. Although the Mexican violence dwarfs the bloodshed of the old bootleggers, both share a common motivation: profits. These are turf wars, fought between rival gangs trying to increase their share of the market for illegal drugs. Seventy-five years ago, we sensibly quelled the bootleggers' violence by repealing the prohibition of alcohol. The only long-term solution to the cartel-related murders in Mexico is to legalize the other illegal drugs we overlooked when we repealed Prohibition in 1933.

Now keep in mind, the gang violence and the mafia have not left the scene when it comes to turf wars or killings. And the gangs and mafia still control the turf, but do it within the legal system that was created from the prohibition era.

The business is conducted underground.

Moreover, the thesis of Steven's argument is that you use taxes to decrease the profit, thus putting the cartels out of business has no historical backing.

Either the business will still be run in Mexico by cartels or by other companies and there will be lobbyists "lobbying" congress to not tax their product.

When it comes to a historical prespective, Steven Duke on the topic of alcohol; on one hand he pushes the example of American history on prohibition, but in 1994 stated:

Our biggest, worst drug problem is the tobacco problem. Legalizing drugs will reduce the use of alcohol, which is far more damaging than any popular illegal drug. (Source: Friday at Four, America Online December 2, 1994)

There is an irony of sorts, because his argument is the same argument used to reduce the profits and usage in cigarettes and alcohol.

And what is the reason behind the cigarette and alcohol taxes? The skyrocketing health care costs with the use. Do all of the taxes go directly to offset the health care costs? No.

Interestingly you have two "drugs" that are legal and we have problems with them and both are taxed heavily. So the question is, is it just a trade-off?

When it is legalized, people become victim to their own vice. When it is illegal, the victims are cartel members who are engaged in a turf war and government officials who are engaged in a war with them.

Moreover, when you tax the product, what happens then? A black market develops, so we are back to turf wars and gang wars, but with a twist. It is legal now and not only has the problem grown with the use and health care costs have grown, but you still have turf wars and the drug war being fought by the tax man, the DEA and ATF.

This legalization effort reminds me of the argument for the legalization of abortion to stop "back alley abortions".

Point blank, you tax the profit out, the market dictates it seek another source to make it profitable. It goes underground.

So back to the question on where is Obama on this and why the silence?

Bush was against it, so where is Obama?


Anonymous said...

If you like the system currently in place, then, by all means, continue to allow the drug gangs to distribute and profit from the sales of drugs. Otherwise,


Bring this stuff into the daylight. The drug gangs will still be around but will be emasculated and reduced to pushing hard drugs without a boost from cannabis. With targeted education and a reduction in the 'cool' factor, illicit drug use should diminish to levels low enough to contain.

BTW, those commercials from the ONDCP are on crack...talking dog? Come on, kids laugh at that. If you expect them to listen to what you say...say something worth listening to...

Tom said...

Sure, how about taxing the illicit use of legal drugs like oxy and other "legal" drugs.

Doesn't work.

BTW some illegal drug use is down so eveidently those commercials are working.

This initial report from the 2006 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) also indicates use of cigarettes decreased from 2002 to 2006 for people ages 18 to 25. However, the level of underage drinking, ages 12 to 20, remained unchanged since 2002, at 28.3 percent in 2006.Among the most notable findings was that the level of current marijuana use among youth ages 12 to 17 declined significantly from 8.2 percent in 2002 to 6.7 percent in 2006. The decline in marijuana use was particularly pronounced in adolescent males.Evidently they are listening.

And then you have this statistic:

The survey also shows that the problems of substance abuse and mental illness are often intertwined. For example, 34.6 percent of 12 to 17 year olds who had a major depressive episode in the past year had used illicit drugs – as opposed to 18.2 percent of youths who had not experienced a major depressive episode during this period. In 2006, 3.2 million youths ages 12 to 17 had at least one major depressive episode.Meaning that if you have a mental illness you are more likely to use illeagl drugs or use legal drugs in an illicit manner.

Anonymous said...

@ 11:05 AM Tom said...


Your sources are entities that profit from drug rehabilitation and it's nearly TWO YEARS OLD. Times change. Of course, their numbers will always statistically show their work is improving the lives of children everywhere. That's how they maintain funding. Just like the numbers from the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) show the government is winning the drug war.

Here's a link from a right wing website from THIS YEAR.

"Border Patrol agents seized over 21,895 pounds of marijuana valued at $17,516,536 and 11.79 pounds of heroin valued at $943, 100."

That's 3664 pounds of cannabis EVERY DAY. 1.8 Tons every day. And they openly admit that they only get 5%. So 73,280 pounds, 36.6 Tons, got through. EVERY DAY. Apparently, the system currently in place doesn't work very well for eradication but is working very well if you like keeping border patrol agents employed.

So, exactly what 'Doesn't work"? Prohibition or Legalization? Legalization worked with alcohol.

Evidently, prohibitionists are listening to what they want to hear. And if it takes a talking dog to get your message across then your message needs updating. Poll numbers are turning against the prohibitionist. Maybe some of us are tired of listening to the lies of prohibitionists and their ilk.

Doesn't work.