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Save Lives, Save Money, Legalize Drugs

Save Lives, Save Money, Legalize Drugs

Mexico is the world’s largest producer and exporter of marijuana.   In the last four years around 28,000 people have lost their lives, as the drug cartels battle to control the means of production and the distribution of the drug.

As each day passes, the cartels attempt to outdo each other by committing more and more atrocities in order to generate fear, which they use to protect their criminal enterprise.

Mass graves of drugs war victims have been uncovered, reminiscent of the nightmarish genocide carried out during the former Yugoslavian war in the 1990’s.

The number of people killed has recently escalated to a new all time high, with 85 people killed during a 24 hour period in June 2010.  In the news just this week, it is reported that four decapitated bodies were found hanging from a bridge, with a warning note left beside the heads of the unfortunate victims.

Politicians, journalists and law enforcement officers are also targets for the drugs killers.  The Mayor of Tamaulipas was recently ambushed and murdered.  Tamaulipas is the same area where the bodies of 72 migrant workers were recently found in a mass grave, and where car bombings have recently taken place escalating the violence to another level.

Thirty journalists have been killed in the violence.  The murder of the journalists has had a ‘gagging effect’ on the news media.  Journalists are now practicing a form of self-censorship, fearful about publishing too many facts or any adverse criticism of the cartels, which may lead to reprisal.

The President of Mexico, Felipe Calderon has staked his presidency on escalating the state’s bloody offensive on the cartels, with the objective of winning the war against the drugs cartels by adopting an ‘iron fist’ approach.  There can be no doubt that the number of deaths associated with this conflict will increase, as the battle to control the narcotics trade escalates further.

The media rightly refer to the situation in Mexico as a drugs ‘war’.   However gruesome the barbarism taking place and the relentless tick, tick, tick of the casualty clock, media coverage outside the country itself, represents the conflict as little more than localized criminal activity, rather than the grim reality of the situation, which is akin to civil war.

To understand the scale and seriousness of the situation in Mexico, compare the death toll of circa 28,000 people in the four years of the drugs ‘war’, to the 6,600 U.S servicemen killed during the whole of the war in Iraq.

Unfortunately, there appears to be no end in sight for the long-suffering people of Mexico, especially in the parts of the country worst affected by the turf wars.

Sadly, there is never going to be an end to the demand for marijuana in the U.S.  Users of marijuana never think about the impact of the dope they buy on people living in a country ruled by its production and distribution, or the people struggling to live a normal life while the drugs war kills more and more of their countrymen.

The river of cash generated from the business will continue to flow and be fought over by the cartels, for as long as demand for the drug exist.

If the cartels are defeated militarily, then it is highly likely that others, such as corrupt Mexican officials will ‘step in’ and take over the role of the cartel bosses.  New recruits to the conflict will be found to replace those taken out of the game by a bullet or a bomb, from those attracted to the drugs trade in an attempt to improve their lot in life by the lure of fast and easy money.

The only sensible solution for the problem is to legalize the production and supply of the drug.  Legalization will see drugs cartel bosses, their lieutenants and soldiers become unemployed.  No doubt many will turn to other forms of crime to finance their lifestyle.  However, without the cash generated by producing and distributing marijuana, the influence and protection these criminals enjoy will steadily diminish, as the flow of money dries up.

Consumers using marijuana or any other illegal narcotic, are responsible for their own actions.  They are not worthy of the enormous level of funding poured into preventing illegal drugs trafficking throughout the world, especially at a time when all nations are facing severe financial pressure on budgets.

Society’s attempt at protecting its citizens from self-harm from the use of narcotics, on the premise that legally available drugs will somehow entrap populations into becoming addicted to narcotics, is a joke.  Drugs are readily available and very easy to obtain for those that want them.  Any pretense by governments that they will ever succeed in the fight against the illegal drugs trade has no credibility.

If narcotics were legalized, users would buy their dope from a store rather than from a street dealer, dependent upon the price and the quality of the product.  Quality of the drugs would be controlled, ensuring that only products conforming to specification are sold to the public.

By legalizing the sale of narcotics, the benefits to society from harnessing the revenue generated through taxation and licensing, and the economic advantages it would bring to the countries producing and distributing the drug, far outweigh the impact of narcotics use on individuals, exercising their own free will to use drugs.

The savings on law enforcement costs and on insurance payouts because of drug crime would be huge. The revenue generated from taxation and licensing the legal sale of narcotics could be channeled toward supporting the increasing costs of providing social care.

Drug users deserve all they get from their substance abuse.  If they choose to use drugs and die from an overdose, so what, let them destroy their lives.  It’s their choice.

It is high time governments took a pragmatic approach to this issue, to save lives, and to remove the costs of the futile effort, trying to prevent the trade in illegal drugs.

After spending many years working within the constrains of public service, where I experienced the steady infiltration of the ?thought police’ and the P.C brigade into daily life, the time has now come for me to say it exactly as I see it, without fear of being dismissed or ostracized by colleagues for my views.

What I write will very likely anger some readers and will probably not go down particularly well with many of the intelligentsia, likely to be angered by what I have to say.

I tend to take a very pragmatic view of life, which in these days of political correctness, does tend to upset some people. I do not categorise myself as having extreme political views along left or right lines, although some of my views will probably be considered to be extreme to some.

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