Our neighbor to the south is doing studies to see how much their drug trafficking would be effect if California’s Proposition 19 would pass. Some studies are saying that the drug cartels could lose 20% of their export income while others are saying it’s as low as 2 or 3 %. Some Mexican officials are starting to wonder if Americans even want to fight the drug war any more, and think that it might be impossible to ask their own citizens to keep it up on their own.
My state doesn’t even have legalized medical marijuana, let alone looking at making it legal to have an ounce or less on your person. While I do see no harm in legalizing marijuana for those over the age of 21, I am not sure why we need to not change our laws to help out Mexico. Obviously what we have been doing for the past who knows how many years against the “drug war” is not working here or there. Maybe it is time for us to take a look at a different approach when it comes to drugs.
I will be the first to admit that while I was in college that I was no angel. (Yes, I did inhale) I think that a lot of Americans, even if they won’t admit it, were/are the same. Schools have been having “Red Ribbon Week” for at least 30 years now. Elementary school children have been hearing about the horrors of marijuana, smoking, drinking, and “hard” drugs, but yet still make the conscious decision to do these drugs when they are older. It isn’t that they aren’t educated about what these drugs do, that they are bad for you, or that it is illegal they are young and want to do them.
We are throwing billions of dollars at a lost cause. Every 17 seconds someone is arrested on a drug related charge. In 2007 872,720 people were arrested on marijuana charges. Our prison population grows on average 45,000 inmates per year, of this 25% are drug convictions. With these statistics I am less worried about Mexico’s drug problem and more about ours. I understand that many of our “street” drugs are imported from Mexico, but many others are grown and manufactured here.
The United States has been taking the same approach for decades on the fight against drugs. We are no closer to winning it now than we were then. Something needs to be done, and if legalizing small amounts of marijuana is a step towards lowering the cost of this “war” then that is what needs to be done.
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