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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Mexican President Calderon Talks About Legalization

President Calderon (AP)

A number of states are discussing legalizing marijuana in the coming November elections. There are a number of reasons for this, the primary reason being taxes; in the midst of an economic recession states are looking for any source of revenue within reason. The Mexican cartels violent drug war is another driving force in the consideration for legalizing marijuana. Marijuana is consumed by more people than any other drug in the United States; this has allowed the cartels to make billions of dollars and has been the cause for a number of bloody turf wars along the Mexican/American border. There have been a number of solutions proposed over the years, but nothing ever seems to work, so now, Mexico and the U.S. are seriously considering legalizing a drug that could set back the cartels.

According to the Voice of America, Mexican President Felipe Calderon said "cartels are making money outside of the drug trade and are seeking greater power in towns where they exert control". Since Calderon took office in 2006, more than 28,000 people have been killed since the government began fighting the cartels. Some would argue that if the government stepped back that the violence would end. Unfortunately, the violence was there before the government stepped in. Now, Calderon is discussing plans for legalization of drugs in Mexico, it was the prohibition that started the drug war, it makes sense to think that ending the prohibition would end the violence.

"Last year, three former Latin American presidents: Fernando Henrique Cardoso of Brazil, Cesar Gaviria of Colombia and Ernesto Zedillo of Mexico said the U.S.-led war on drugs is a failure and that it is time to replace what they called an ineffective strategy with more humane and efficient policies". Legalization may not be the answer, it may be? However, we definitely need to come up with something to end this violence quickly - people are dying. Let's face it, prohibition has always been about the money and not the fact that drugs were addicting.

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