Sunday, December 11, 2011

This Day In History

On December 11, 2006, the Mexican Drug War began when Mexican President Felipe Calderon sent in federal troops to quell drug violence.

Since then over 45,000 people, including police, civilians, and drug gang members, have been killed*.  Our own government has admitted that it has allowed guns and money to flow across our southern border, ostensibly in order to find, fix, and finish drug cartels.  Violence in Mexico has bled across the border into our southwestern states, including the death of our own citizens on multiple occasions.

And why is this all necessary?

From where I sit, all of this is happening because our government can't stand to let adults destroy their own lives.  This is prohibition on steroids, PCP, and Viagra with all of the smuggling, murder, corruption, and human suffering that goes along with it.  In order to save us from our own bad choices, the United States government is willing to criminalize the voluntary use of intoxicants by adults.

I am still very negative on the recreational use of drugs, and if they were legalized tomorrow, I would  not use them myself and would stomp a mudhole in anyone who tried to give them to my children.  I'm not going to play the old canard that heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine are no deadlier than alcohol or nicotine.  They're not, and anyone who tells you different is being less than truthful.  I'm also not convinced that using cannabis is as safe as smoking tobacco or having a drink.  But I've come to believe that the potential social ills that legal use of these drugs could bring would pale in comparison to the social ills that prohibition has brought to us in the past 40 years.

Yes, there will be addicts who get high and hurt others.  There will be those who neglect their children because they're too baked to care.  There will be overdoses and diseases that will have to be treated.  But we already have those things, and we will have them no matter how much blood, sweat, and treasure we pour into programs to keep them from getting their personal drug of choice.  We are also dealing with a shooting war on our southern border, a huge government bureaucracy that arbitrarily decides what is a legal intoxicant, what is medicine, and what is forbidden for any use whatsoever, and other government agencies that justify further and further encroachments into our rights in the name of keeping us sober.

If nothing changes, either by drastically reducing the demand for the drugs smuggled into our country through Mexico or by taking away the profit motive of the cartels by legalizing their product, then in five years we will be marking the 10 year mark of a civil war in Mexico, with probably over 100,000 people dead, and violence splashing well into our own territory.  Prohibition didn't work in the 1920's, and it's been a disaster this time.  I just hope we wake up to that fact before we do ever more serious damage to our republic because we can't stand to let adults make mistakes.

*I'm not going to shed too many tears over the death of criminals, but I do know that when soldiers and gang members shoot at each other or gang members start murdering each other, a lot of people who just want to live their life end up dead along with the gang bangers.

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