Front Street

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

By Gigi
There’s a drug war that’s brewing in Mexico and Columbia between rival cartels. The Mexican authorities think that it’s America’s fault, since there’s a growing demand for illegal drugs in various forms and they want the United States to do something about it. People are being murdered over the sale of drugs which continues to underline the fact that billions of dollars in profit are at stake and create a level of greed so addictive, that in its cold bloodedness is not only incalculable, but rivals the greed on Wall Street! Yes, the two comparisons may be a bit extreme, but we have seen all of this before…remember the bootlegging Prohibition years? When politicians and religious zealots thought that outlawing the sale of liquor would bring an end to drinking and the worst excesses connected to it such as organized crime, but instead, the streets ran red with people murdered. Crime syndicates killed until legislation changed its tune. So I see the same thing happening here. Hundreds of people so far have been murdered in Mexico, from high government officials to innocent people caught in drug cross fires.

Pablo Escobar, one of the leaders of the Mexican cartel, declared war on Colombia by ordering entire city blocks to be blown up in order to defend his territory and cocaine profits. The drug trade needs to be broken, it needs to be broken in the same way the back of the bootlegging business was broken…by legalization. Perhaps significant legislative changes will put a permanent hole in the bucket of illegal drug dealing. Mexico is teetering on the brink of collapse; tourism is down because of all the bloodshed. Since Escobar’s greed is matched by his ruthlessness, and threats of doing prison have not run him or others like him out of business, we have to change the game until the game is destroyed. The dealers are trying to meet the massive American appetite for chemical fun in a time when the market is driven by middle to higher class “social users”, not addicts.

Our economy can use all the tax money it can get. We need to look at what legalization would do for us. The tax money would surpass the billions already spent on a drug war we never come close to winning. Also, the tobacco companies have the machinery in place to mass produce marijuana cigarettes on a sliding scale from light to very strong; and the pharmaceutical companies could handle all of the other drugs. The drug dealers will then have to compete against the big pharmaceutical and Phillip Morris-type companies that would not only take over the trade, but will have lower prices, ensure that the potency of the product will be safe and legal and they will pay billions of dollars in taxes. Yes, I hate it too, but I see no other way out of this mess and you can’t stop people from willingly spending billions of dollars of their own money to entertain them selves.