The Mexican president who put the Mexican Army onto the streets to stop the drug war, resulting in 40,000+ deaths, many collateral damage like the son of writer Carlos Fuentes, the Mexican president who a year ago started hinting that that didn’t work and something else should be done, is already following the path of his predecessors Ernesto Zedillo and Vicente Fox, in calling for the U.S. to end the war on drugs. Georgia can’t afford to continue spending a billion dollars a year to lock people up, especially while cutting education. If we listen to the Mexican presidents, we can save much of that billion and spend much of the savings on education.
T.W. wrote for the Economist 23 November 2012, “Impossible” to end drug trade, says Calderón,
In an interview recorded last month for this week’s special report on Mexico, Mr Calderón said: “Are there still drugs in Juárez [a violent northern border city]? Well of course, but it has never been the objective…of the public-security strategy to end something that it is impossible to end, namely the consumption of drugs or their trafficking…
“[E]ither the United States and its society, its government and its congress decide to drastically reduce their consumption of drugs, or if they are not going to reduce it they at least have the moral responsibility to reduce the flow of money towards Mexico, which goes into the hands of criminals. They have to explore even market mechanisms to see if that can allow the flow of money to reduce.
“If they want to take all the drugs they want, as far as I’m concerned let them take them. I don’t agree with it but it’s their decision, as consumers and as a society. What I do not accept is that they continue passing their money to the hands of killers.”
The Economist article spelled out what Calderón still doesn’t quite say:
The next step is to explore legal ways of managing the supply side, as Colorado and Washington have recently voted to do.
In case you missed it, this month Colorado and Washington became the first governments in the world to fully legalize marijuana use. Even Portugal the forerunner for Washington State, didn’t actually legalize: it decriminalized, with lesser penalties, many involving drug counselling. On the other hand, Portugal went for all drugs, not just marijuana, and addiction declined. Plus it wasn’t necessary to spend nearly as much anymore on locking people up. Now there’s an investment in human security!
The War on Drugs doesn’t just affect Mexico. Back in the U.S., it is the primary cause of militarization of police and the world’s record U.S. prison population, plus privatization of prisons.
The time has come. No mas Guerra de las Drogas. Time to end the failed war on drugs.