Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Violence in Juarez - Direct Effect of the War on Drugs

Today when I paged through the most recent article of Newsweek, there was a long article about Juarez, Mexico. I always find articles and videos about Juarez interesting, as I went on a mission trip down there a couple years ago. Basically the article talked about the violence that they have been experiencing due to drug cartels and traffickers.

To me it is blatantly obvious what is the cause of almost all of the problems Juarez is facing: the war on drugs. Juarez is a gateway for drugs to be smuggled into the United States. There have been countless murders and deaths that have been attributed to drug traffickers. I don't know how many times I will end up saying this in my lifetime - The war on drugs has failed.

Not only has it failed, it has failed miserably. On Monday John Sharkey wrote a piece in the Minnesota Daily about the failed war on drugs. At one point it talked about a group called the Partnership for the Americas Commission and a report they released about Western Hemisphere relations. Members included former Presidents and Prime Ministers of various Latin American Countries. An entire section was devoted to the failed war on drugs. Latin American Countries have been hurt severely by the United States failed drug war. Stepping up the fight in Juarez to subdue violence is not going to to work. Locking up more and more has not worked. In the United States alone over 20 million have been imprisoned on drug-related charges!

Imagine for a minute a United States that legalized drugs. It's hard to do. But in reality, there will not be such a HUGE price markup that makes it profitable to smuggle drugs into the country. Law enforcement will be able to concentrate on real crimes instead of somebody inhaling a plant. Tax dollars will not only be saved, but immense amounts of tax dollars will be raised through the inevitable huge markups (just like on cigarettes). Instead of arresting people who use drugs, we can concentrate on helping them. There would be less violence along our border in places such as Juarez because the entire system that makes drug traffickers and drug cartels 'work' would not exist.

But no, our government instead wastes billions of taxpayer dollars pursuing a failed policy that has created so much violence and injustice. There are a million problems our government is facing and trying to 'fix.' Some/most of the time they just make a problem worse that they are trying to 'fix.' With just a little education on the issue, I think everyone would realize what common sense it is to end this atrocity.

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