Is Mexico’s war on drugs getting out of control?

We’ve all heard about Mexico’s war on drugs, a fight between rival drug cartels and government forces. Ciudad Juarez remains Mexico’s murder capital and across the border in El Paso it’s also very dangerous. “It’s a war in which the president can’t claim victory, can’t pull out and which only gets worse” says Ioan Grillo from Time Magazine. He also says “Mexico’s drug war could become its Iraq”. So is it really this bad?

Since 2006 there have been more than 14’000 drug related deaths in Mexico. Three weeks ago 21 students were killed at a party, The Economist says January has been the bloodiest month on record. Human rights groups say the army has only stoked the violence.

This blogger says the spike in murders is down to the soldiers only attacking certain cartels, missing out the powerful Sinaloa cartel. Meanwhile the U.S. continues to help strengthen Mexico’s military muscle. So far the U.S. has pledged $1.6 billion worth of equipment and training to Mexico’s army and police force.

Jess Hunter-Bowman blogs on the failure of this policy, saying it’s done little to affect the drug production and consumption that fuels the violence. But she does praise the US’s move to increase funding for domestic drug prevention and treatment, saying this is a step towards a more sensible policy.
On top of the murders and kidnappings caused by the drug war the economy is also suffering. This blogger says thousands of shops have been forced out of Juarez. But how much of this is affecting the rest of Mexico?
A Mexican blogger says ” a lot of that news coverage can often give a bit of a twisted, one dimensional and tunnel vision view of Mexico to people who wouldn’t know better .”
In April last year WHYS went to Mexico City to cover this story but Swine Flu hit so we didn’t look into the violence and drugs war. Almost a year on and the violence goes on.

Should the Mexican government continue to fight the war on drugs and the cartels? or should the focus be on tackling its causes like unemployement, lack of education and corruption? How is this affecting day to day life in Mexico? or is the violence just restricted to Northern Mexico?

107 Responses to “Is Mexico’s war on drugs getting out of control?”

  1. 1 JanB
    February 22, 2010 at 21:28

    Mexico should continue the fight and remember that if it wasn’t for the cartels there wouldn’t be as much unemployment and lack of education.

    The United States should legalize marijuana (it’s insane that people get killed over something that isn’t more dangerous than alcohol) and do something about the fact that the cartels can just buy assault rifles and other weapons that only belong in the military from American shops. I can tell you one thing: here in Europe we do have crime and problems with drugs but we don’t have criminals armed with automatic rifles battling it out on the streets, so gun control does work and is necessary.

    • 2 Thomas Murray
      February 22, 2010 at 23:11

      I agree with JanB about legalizing marijuana … especially for cash-strapped and nearly bankrupt California.

      But the violence along the Mexican border so bad that’s it eclipses the horror stories we get from insurgent violence in Irag, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

      It’s Mexico’s failed economy that’s fueled the rash of mass murders, kidnappings and beheadings by bandits and cartels desparate for money.

      The situation is so bad that Mexican policy analysist (and American pundits) are even urging the legalization of cocaine. That such violence should push us into making that kind of colossal mistake gives one just another perspective on the sheer magnitude of the problem.

      –Louisville, Kentucky, US

      • 3 Maccus Germanis
        February 23, 2010 at 13:53

        Actually, Legalization isn’t a horrible idea, in spite of the violence. How many people – that aren’t already looking for it – would rush out to buy cocaine, once legalized? Has our culture developed epidemic compulsive behaviors regarding this taboo? If it is already so bad that the lawmen are the only thing standing in the way of otherwise healthy Americans taking heedless risks, then I think it even more imperative that we allow fools to gain experiential knowledge.

  2. 4 Roberto
    February 22, 2010 at 22:52

    RE “” So is it really this bad? “”

    ——- Mexico is a Banana Republic without the bananas.

    Oil and gas is the biggest official slice of the economy, but oil is running out. Foreign nationals primarily working in the US is the 2nd biggest slice of it’s economy, and that’s way down as Mexicans have started returning to Mexico for lack of work.

    The illegal drug trade challenges or tops those two official economic indicators, so it’s entrenched in the Mexican system. Until drugs are legalized and made commodities, the drug cartels have carte blanche to mint money like any business where the state sets favourable rates for them.

  3. 5 Guillermo
    February 22, 2010 at 23:15

    I have commented in Paddy´s blog this problem. Since the rightists governments held by Fox and now Calderón, the drug dealers have had the opportunity to grow and control the economy, politics and the government. It is said that Fox made an arrangement with the so called cartels. And it seems the same in Calderón. The drug war is an impudent war because Calderón can not legitimize his government. One mexican-chinese entreprenuer who dealt with chemicals said that he had contributed to the campaign of Calderón. He is imprisoned in USA. The casualties since Calderón took office are about 18,000
    that includes innocent people such as women, children, young people and elder people.The army by orders of Calderón has spread 93,000 soldiers. And the killings haven´t stopped. He said in Tokio that the 15 teen agers killed in Juárez were criminals. The truth is that they were students. He barely apoligize and his answer was, the soldiers must remain. Whenever he goes to some place he is guarded by soldiers. When he went to Juárez 9000 soldiers were his body guards. That is one of the reasons why the narcoviolence has not ended.

  4. 6 Clamdip
    February 22, 2010 at 23:34

    I disagree about the pot pharmacies. There are way too many in California. What people don’t realize is that the people smoking pot are the same people who watch your children around pools of water, drive the busses to school, fly the airplanes you take on your next business trip or the surgeon just preparing to replace your kidney. I don’t want that world for anyone’s kids. I’d rather see therapy clinics or buddhist alters. Get over your pain and suffering and you won’t need to smoke pot.

    • 7 Patrick
      February 24, 2010 at 14:19

      Pssychiatric dugs impair peoples thinking to a greater extent than marijuana and many people are on those drugs, do you object to those drugs being on the market?

  5. 8 Tan Boon Tee
    February 23, 2010 at 02:05

    It does appear that the government keeps fighting a losing war against the drug cartels.

    Have corruption and bribery been so rampant and deep-rooted that part of the government belongs to the cartels? In which case, a complete overhaul of the system might be the only solution.

  6. February 23, 2010 at 02:41

    Control substances that have life threatening effects including marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin are constantly been transported across the USA and may even though provide a little over 48.4 billion dollars annually to cartels; it is the associated medical implication that is worrisome to me as a student of pharmaceutical science. Some of the conditions include addiction, physical dependence and withdrawal syndrome. These factors make it even more necessary for the United States Government to play a more robust role in the fight against the traffickers because both countries have equally more to lose.

    • 10 Maccus Germanis
      February 23, 2010 at 13:56

      You make a very compelling case not to experiment with these substances. Is there anyway I might flatter you into thinking that you, and others, so armed with knowledge, could stem drug use, without resorting to the legal system?

  7. 11 vintner
    February 23, 2010 at 03:38

    The flow of US drug trade money is a significant percentage of Mexico’s licit GDP. They honestly do not have a chance.

  8. 12 Adam J.Carroll. - US
    February 23, 2010 at 06:10

    While i do agree with JanB on all of her views, the US isn’t going to be nationalizing a Reefer reform. It is in my opinion that education should be the focus. unfortunately it is not that simple, especially in state of economic unrest around the world. Military force as an offensive against the cartels as well as peacekeeping and policing in the more congested areas is also necessary in concert with basic infrastructure building and stabilization. Education could then be used to its best capability rather than just educating people to have themselves with no jobs but the cartels – nothing would be worse than sending the best and brightest to work for the worst. Leave that to US politics and Lobbyists

  9. 13 Subhash C Mehta
    February 23, 2010 at 08:00

    This domain (the drug-mafias/cartels) is one of the most dangerous and evil in our societies, because it is more organized and patronized than the terror perpetrated by the evil fanatics/extremists. These mafias, with support of some rich and powerful (but evil) elements of the societies, are bloody ruthless in wiping out any opposition to their nefarious activities, which mostly revolve around ‘money for crime’ and vice-versa. The best way to deal with them is to strike them where it hurts the most, which is to wipe out their drug-distribution points mostly operated/controlled by their small cartels; In Mexico, although this job, to attack and incapacitate the small cartels, is well undertaken by the Army, yet it lacks proper intelligence network and coordination. Even if the attacks have to be random, they ought to be nondiscriminatory; there must never be any succumbing to any political or other pressure to allow a soft approach towards any particular cartel and they need to be absolutely resolute, ruthless and relentless in their attacks. Moreover, these kind of operations require a special kind of approach to gather intelligence; wherein, the safety & security of the sources must be of paramount importance/concern, otherwise, any slackness can prove to be very damaging and demoralizing for the sources or the intelligence network.

    February 23, 2010 at 11:01

    Like the Haiti across the ocean, Mexical is slowly becoming a devastated country without the benefit of an earthquake. This is so because its pinacle of power is deeply rooted in cormmerical politics that have suffered decades of neglect.
    Like Haiti, Mexical will take decades to recorver the right posture given the fact that its human resource is slowly getting destroyed by drugs.
    The US money like its happening elsewhere, is only going to increase greed among political elites who will fane the flames to maintain the status quo – the genesis of power namely cash.
    And yet the blame can only be truly mexican – so is solution if they have appetite for it.

  11. 15 Kenneth Ingle
    February 23, 2010 at 11:24

    There will be no control until customers stop buying drugs. That certainly won’t be something I shall live to see. Just the opposite, here in Europe drug use is also on the increase. At the same time the number of police is being reduced to save money. The result, Hells Angels and Banditos are able to fight their own wars on the streets of Germany. Older people fear to go out after dusk.

  12. February 23, 2010 at 12:04

    These cartels are no different than the mobsters of the roaring ’20s. When the government tries to keep drugs or alcohol from the people then huge underground illegal businesses have a monopoly on a lucrative product. It has been going on so long now that those businesses are institutions.

  13. 17 Dan
    February 23, 2010 at 12:39

    Those who sit on the high moral throne wishing to ban Marijuana because of one thing or another cannot ever know the pain of cancer, its treatment or the pain meds that plug you up while destroying your appetite or the incessant wretching keeling in front of the Porcelain Throne from chemo and after effects of radiation.
    Smoking a joint relieves much of the after effects of that treatment and pain and helps to allow natural bodily functions. I hope none of you ever have to experience that or how one is degraded and dehumanized in a hospital because of your “moral throne”.

    In my mind the war in Mexico is about who is actually running the country, the elected Government or the Drug Cartels. The Government must win.

  14. 18 Nigel
    February 23, 2010 at 13:15

    There is no option but to fight. The secret is to cut the link of curruption between those in the government and the police that gives the Cartels the intelligence they need to wage a successful war. The flow of arms from America also needs to be stopped.

  15. February 23, 2010 at 13:38

    i believe, that the war on control of drugs is getting out of control because i think it can’t just be a war of running street battles with the gangs. The whole system needs what i call a radical approach. it is just like the battle against HIV/AIDS. what ever happens in the middle of the night God only knows. it is an issue of conflicting interest,- i mean look at a situation of a drug user empowered by law to apprehend drug dealers. The whole scenario looks and sounds interesting indeed.

  16. 20 patti in cape coral
    February 23, 2010 at 13:52

    I think Mexico’s drug war has been out of control for some time now. I agree with legalizing pot, and the laws that apply to alcohol would apply to marijuana. Surgeons, pilots, bus drivers, etc., have to submit to routine drug and alcohol testing, so I don’t see how that would be any different. Even though alcohol is legal, it is not legal to drink while on the job and the same would go for marijuana.

    Mexico’s problem has been allowed to fester so long, I don’t see how they are going to get out of it.

    February 23, 2010 at 14:35

    The war on drugs not only in Mexico but Colombia and Afghanistan is totally futile, it is a war started by the rich countries of the West for political reasons, totally contrary to their financial interests.
    The solution to the problem is to curtail consumption in the USA and Europe rather than trying to stop the production and export of drugs from the countries of origin. Otherwise the total legalization of all drugs is the only solution. therefore protecting not only the producer but the consumer. It is a market like any other market.
    We must also remember that it is the USA who fuels violence by selling all the military hardware not only the governments involved but to the drug lords. Money talks, business does not have any kind of morality.

  18. 22 Guido, Vienna
    February 23, 2010 at 14:52

    The drug problem in Mexico remind me to the war in Afghanistan, where it is not easy to distinguish religious fanatics, tribal leaders and drug lords.

  19. 23 gary indiana
    February 23, 2010 at 14:59

    Ordinarily I might ask’ “In what unholy universe would 14,000 deaths in four years not be considered out of control?” Of course, the deaths are the result of exactly that, attempts to gain control of a wealth stream beyond the dreams of avarice. The Mexican authorities will continue to be out-gunned so long as money flows south. Thus, the solution to the problem must begin north of the border. Finding answers always involves asking the right questions, and curing this blight will require identification of its causes. Certainly, individual weaknesses fuel the demand. However, street punks and druggie prostitutes aren’t running the multi-billion dollar industry providing the fix. The goal must be to find and eliminate the “suits” in the US.

  20. February 23, 2010 at 15:01

    Helping with unemployment is a nice idea, but who is really going to bust their back for minimum wage when drugs are so much more lucrative? This is another case of the decadent and rich West dumping the problems of their populations onto the poor world. There wouldn’t be a market for drugs if it weren’t for USA and Europe. It is their failure to control their own populations that leads to a massive market, and the poor kill each other to service that need. Meanwhile, Uncle Sam gets to sell guns to everybody. How about, instead of Mexicans getting shot, it was the rich spoiled Hollywood brats whose decadence causes the problems? How about the middle class housewives in Surrey feeling some of the pain? It’s about time the real culprits had a taste of the violence that they are quite happy to let others suffer.

  21. 25 Peter Calabar
    February 23, 2010 at 15:29

    How lightly people here recommend legalizing pot without considering the endless consequences of such a step. Clamdip has already highlighted some of these. But don’t think it even stops at that. When I was a kid I experimented with cigarettes and ended up dropping a fleck of the burning tip on a kid’s arm. It left a gaping sore after it had festered, getting me a solid whupping from my mom and a personal vow never to touch the stuff ever again. And I haven’t.

    Point I’m making is, that was just tar cigarette. My own kids experimenting with pot could easily lead to far more serious consequences. I understand pot bends the mind. An adult friend said he took some puffs and ended up standing outside his home and bawling like a baby, utterly convinced the doorway was too small to let him in. A chap I knew hot on the stuff pretty soon took to walking at snail pace dead-center of any roadway regardless of traffic. And there are far more odious effects of smoking pot, believe me. I sure wouldn’t want the 21st century world crawling with people who by virtue of a legalized stuff could sudden-like turn and plunge a carvers knife into my chest, please.

  22. 26 Malc Dow
    February 23, 2010 at 15:30

    The problem isn’t with ‘drugs’, the problem is about hidden government and pharmaceutical company agendas. The sooner ‘drugs’ are legalized with the same controls and restrains that exist for every other ‘legal drug’, the sooner there will be a ‘drug problem’, and the gangsters will have to look elsewhere for their funding.

  23. 27 Roy, Washington DC
    February 23, 2010 at 15:33

    “It’s a war in which the president can’t claim victory, can’t pull out and which only gets worse”

    Sounds like the War On Terror. Fighting it on the front lines is ultimately futile; perhaps the root causes should be looked at instead.

  24. 29 T
    February 23, 2010 at 15:37

    For everyone who says that the war on drugs is winnable, do a search on Dr. Gabor Mate in Vancouver, B.C. And get a totally different perspective.

  25. 30 TomK in Mpls
    February 23, 2010 at 15:43

    Everybody seems to miss the core of the issue. It is not really Mexico’s failure, it is the big money the American War on Drugs generates. It is not necessary to legalize marijuana, but decriminalization would help. The industrialized world likes to create a single sound bite sized solution for every problem. For drugs, it is the ‘head of the cartel’. To get this, we let the root of the problem grow. Over 30 years , our no thought policy, ‘just say no’, has helped evolve a monster. It is not that simple.

    We need to reduce the profitability. Increasing accessibility, creating competition would help. Make offenses cost more monetarily and less prison/jail time for nonviolent offenders. This would not ‘solve’ it, but it would reduce the money that trafficking could generate.

  26. 31 patti in cape coral
    February 23, 2010 at 15:47

    I have never heard any loud outcry about making alcohol illegal despite the fact it contributes to violent behavior and crime much more than marijuana. Thank goodness at least there are no “alcohol cartels” like in the times of prohibition.

    Make no mistake, people who want to use pot are already using it and will always find a way to use it.

  27. 32 chinaski in LA
    February 23, 2010 at 15:54

    This is absolutely out of control. The Mexican govt can’t control it because of corruption, the US govt can’t control it because of corruption. There is simply too much money to be made.

  28. 33 Linda from Italy
    February 23, 2010 at 16:03

    Organised crime is dangerous and powerful precisely because it thrives on “crime”, anything made illegal through prohibition and that some people wish to take, is up for grabs and by extension there are massive profits to be made.
    The US 1920s has already been quoted as the prime example of a failed experiment in prohibition, in this case alcohol, that did nothing but spark off a massive crime wave. You really would have thought a little learning from history would have been in order (just like Afghanistan).
    People do some extremely silly and often nasty things under the influence of alcohol, but if these do result in a crime they are duly punished by the law and, in enlightened societies, people with addiction problems can seek the aid they need.
    The whole “War in Drugs” fiasco should be consigned to the bin, there is no logical reason to ban some drugs and not others, unless we want to live in a ban-everything Taliban-style society. People who want to take consciousness-altering substances will always find a way (glue-sniffing anyone?) and some of the scare stories around about marijuana are just laughable.
    Legalise all drugs and what’s left in it for the gangsters? Other than a bit of low-grade smuggling, as happens with cigarettes, if government over-tax them – in other words, back-door discriminatory prohibition.

  29. 34 Miguel
    February 23, 2010 at 16:09

    Iteresting comments… I actually live in Mexico, and the problem is already out of control. Some time ago, the US shut down the pathway of drugs from Colombia to the US through the Caribbean, but drug lords found an alternate route through Mexico. Whatever didnt cross the border was sold in the local market. As cartels gained power, they started to get violent because they couldnt control the market, there were several cartels competing. Due to intense competition, they have turned to kidnapping and racketeering, hence, diversifying their business.

    The local police is corrupted and lets the cartels know whats going on inside the intelligence units. Thats why they never get caught. Thats why we´ve got the military forces into this.

    Since marihuana represents 60% of the drug sales, legalizing it can ease a lot of this pain. Things can be settled in court, and cartels would not have to resort to violence, as stated by Chicago economist Gary Becker. That could be a huge step towards fixing this problem. Then of course, cleaning up the local police.

  30. 35 jens
    February 23, 2010 at 16:11


    so you want to bring the violence to everywhere. Nice touch buddy. what about all the people in Surrey or Hollywood, who do not do drugs? they should suffer from the violence as well?

    and let me shatter your little anti-western thoughts. africa and asia is doing as much drugs as the “decadent” west, but that does not fit into your image of the ever so happy natives…..

  31. 36 Donnamarie in Switzerland
    February 23, 2010 at 16:15

    Prohibition did not work to curb alcohol use in the first part of the 20th Century. On the contrary, prohibition simply served to get organized crime involved in the distribution and sale of alcohol.

    The situation with drugs is no different. Legalize drugs, regulate and tax them in the same way that tobacco and alcohol are treated. It will take time because organized crime–and, by now, law enforcement in many countries–will not want to give up the gold mine of illegal drugs. But nothing else will work.

    Addiction is a disorder that should be treated with medication or behavioural changes. Addiction should not be treated as a criminal matter, addicts should not be jailed, they should be treated.

  32. 37 TomK in Mpls
    February 23, 2010 at 16:36

    As for Ros’ question in the email, in the late ’70s and early ’80s I smoked marijuana. At about that time, the cartels gained control. The result was that the price went up, and the quality and selection went down. It was all Commercial Columbian and no more Acapulco Gold. I was in the USMC at the time, we called it Uncle Sam’s Marijuana Club. As for the personal effects of it, both the pro and anti side, as in most supposed discussions, are way off. It is not a wonderful gift of nature or a great evil. It should be treated very much like alcohol, for pretty much the same reasons. When the changes occurred, I quit. It just wasn’t worth it any more.

  33. 38 CJ McAuley
    February 23, 2010 at 16:52

    There is no way Mexico can win the “drug war” as long as the huge market exists just north of their border in the USA! I have used marijuana for over 30 years, btw; the vast majority of it “home grown” from the verdant Eastern Townships of the province of Quebec in Canada. For marijuana is way better to “take the edge off” than is alcohol! As primary carer for my Mom with Alzheimer’s, I use it to this day to mellow out at times (when it is safe to do so) and to take a break from my immediate reality.

  34. 39 Luz Ma from Mexico
    February 23, 2010 at 16:52

    The “war on drugs” is completely out of control. It is making things worse. The number of death people is increasing. The drug lords are not giving up, so the violence and insecurity are escalating.

    In my home town (Monterrey) shootings and kidnappings are common now (like in many towns in Mexico). Ciudad Juarez is a lawless city. For every drug trafficker arrested there is a line of sicarios that want to take his place.

    And add police corruption, social and economic inequalities, and that the major consumer of drugs is our neighbor.

    In my opinion, the only way to decrease the power of narcos in Mexico is legalizing drugs and start working effectively in social programs to decrease the gap between rich and poor (30 million in Mexico live below the poverty line). Sacrificing soldiers and civilians has not worked.

  35. 40 audre
    February 23, 2010 at 16:55

    Mood altering substances are mood altering substances. Alcohol, prescription drugs and illegal drugs all alter the mind. The only answer is legalization but as some else here has already said… there is too much money to be made for that to happen.

    We are being fed the pablum of the evils of illegal drugs as opposed to those lovely safe legal ones and we eat it up. It is true, illegal drugs are less safe but that is because they are illegal and there are no controls.

  36. 41 patti in cape coral
    February 23, 2010 at 17:18

    I experimented with pot as a teenager, but wasn’t really into it. I never really bought any, though, the people I hung out with just seemed to always have it. Ironically, now, when I could really use the stress relief, it would be unthinkable to me to seek out a drug dealer and spend my scarce money on it. Would I try it again if it were legalized? I’m not sure, but probably not. Do I feel that my consumption as a teenager contributed to the drug war violence? Now that I think about it, I probably did contribute in a minute way, indirectly, but it really wasn’t something I thought about then.

  37. 42 TomK in Mpls
    February 23, 2010 at 17:19

    Do your own research, Heroin and morphine do not harm the body until they are taken in such quantities that they cause death. also, if taken infrequently enough and in small enough quantities, you can avoid addiction. It was common for the social and scientific elite of the late 1800s such as Freud to use them. It was also portrayed in the Sherlock Holmes books. Holmes enjoyed it. In our world, it is the lack of control and poor product quality that causes the problems.

  38. 43 BRINDA
    February 23, 2010 at 17:34

    are your running out of ways to ask meaningful questions?

    Should the Mexican government continue to fight the war on drugs and the cartels?
    —–Is that a question? are you seriously asking that question?

    or should the focus be on tackling its causes like unemployement, lack of education and corruption?
    —-Read your question again.amazingly it has its answer in as well.

    Multitasking is very in these days.

    How is this affecting day to day life in Mexico? or is the violence just restricted to Northern Mexico?
    Now that is a good question. I hope some one from Mexico answers it.

  39. 44 Andrew in Australia
    February 23, 2010 at 17:39

    It’s always the fault of poorer countries, with impoverished populations, corrupt officials and ineffective (also corrupt) police forces who have little money to spend on itself to improve the lives of its people and are bullied into throwing more resources into curbing the supply to richer first world nations with citizens who have more money than sense and too much time on their hands who desire these narcotics and create the demand for them. These same people who wag their fingers at the producing nations fail to see were it not for them drugs trades as they are now would cease to exist. Easier to point the finger at others than accept responsiblity themselves for the problems they cause sitting comfortably in their pleasant little world dissociated from the reality that faces others.

  40. 45 Clamdip
    February 23, 2010 at 17:43

    Shutting down the multinational banks that launder drug money would help. Also there are glaring clues as to what country is really behind this industry.
    Iain made an excellent point. The “green” organic foods generation of young people don’t connect the dots when it comes to their own addictions. By supporting the drug industry they are supporting murder. They raise the banner on child slavery and sweat shops but are mute when it comes to their own addictions. What hypocrites! This young generation could turn the tide in this war by denouncing drugs and getting therapy for their pain and suffering which is fueling this war. On this point, they should become more enlightened and really stop these destructive industries that are destroying the world.

  41. 46 Andrew in Australia
    February 23, 2010 at 17:45


    Which planet do you live on? Heroin doesn’t cause problems? I guess it is difficult to argue with such a stance on the issue. If one can argue that this is the case then it seems hardly likely that you would appreciate the reality of the world. Where then do the problems that arise from drug use come from? Is the best argument you can put up the writings of Conan Doyle of a fictional character? The novelist was a drug addict and hence wrote this into his story, but that doesn’t make it harmless. So you are also suggesting that a better grade of heroin should be produced to also circumvent any problems?

    • 47 TomK in Mpls
      February 24, 2010 at 07:05

      You need to read better, or is it selective vision? You ignore the conditional words like *if*. Ask a doctor. And the writings were not presented as proof of science, but as a representation of the social attitudes of the day. As for ‘grades’ of heroin, it is not really the ‘grade’, it is the handling of the product. Anything put directly into the blood stream needs to be sterile. Then there are the materials it is ‘cut’ with. Check into the heroin addiction programs the British have. Also you ignore that quantity and frequency of use are what cause the addiction. Addiction and unregulated quality are what causes the problems with these drugs. The lack of harm is why for virtually all of the 20th century, morphine was the standard medical pain killer.

      Anything, through addiction, can ruin lives. Even chocolate. It helps to know what is happening before your try to fix any problem.

  42. 48 Ray in Nairobi
    February 23, 2010 at 18:01

    It is totally out of control and will remain out of control until the demand side of this terrible trade is addressed.

  43. 49 Anthony
    February 23, 2010 at 18:11

    Yes, and the funny thing is, we could seriously help them and ourselves by making something legal that shouldn’t be illegal in the first place. Cannabis. Come on California, pass that assembly bill!!!

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  44. 50 Anthony
    February 23, 2010 at 18:16

    @ Maccus Germanis

    No one is talking about legalizing cocaine. There is a HUGE difference between coke and cannabis. Cannabis has the LOWEST addiction possibilities out of all the major drugs, AND beer / nicotine.

    Cocaine RUINS lives. People don’t blow 5 grand on cannabis in one weekend. People don’t O.D. on cannabis.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  45. 51 Anthony
    February 23, 2010 at 18:18

    @ Clamdip

    You can same thing about alcohol. The same people who watch your kids, fly planes, and doctors drink. I’ve hung out with some belligerent doctors on many occasions. My point is, what is your point. Do you think a surgeon is going to go into surgery high? He can just as easily go in drunk. Ridiculous.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  46. 52 chinaski in LA
    February 23, 2010 at 18:21

    Anthony, this thing goes beyond Cannabis. We’re talking about hard drugs here, not just pot. Could you imagine the repercussions of having heroine, cocaine, crack, meth, etc. legal? That is one mess I would care not to look at everyday.

  47. 53 John in Salem
    February 23, 2010 at 18:25

    Human beings have been using psychoactive plants throughout our entire evolutionary history and there is good evidence that we are hard-wired to seek out altered states of consciousness – if you think you can change that by just teaching your kids to say no then you are welcome to your fantasy.
    Not all prohibition is bad but it does demand rational examination and an even-handed approach. You can’t expect adults, much less their children, to figure out what the truth is when alcohol is legal and pot is classified alongside heroin.
    Mexico’s problems aren’t going to be solved with an overhaul of U.S. drug laws – poverty is as much an attitude as a lack of resources – but we do need to look hard at why every attempt to legislate morality always results in more misery.

  48. 54 Dictatore Generale Max Maximilian Maximus I
    February 23, 2010 at 18:27

    Should the Mexican government continue to fight the war on drugs and the cartels? or [sic] should the focus be on tackling its causes like unemployement, [sic]lack of education and corruption?

    The focus should be on corruption!

    But NOT in Mexico! It should be on the corruption in the good ol’ USA!

    Why? Partly due to the fact that the market IS predominantly in the West and also becoz:

    When a country is at the leading edge of technology in most fields going to the extent that USA’s satellites can measure the temperature of the cigarette between my lips right now why is it SO difficult to tackle SO may issues?

    There are people in Power in the Western (‘developed’) world, as much as there are people in Power in Mexico and other parts of the ‘developing’ world who are oiling the flow of illicit substances!


    Selective and step-by-step legalisation of drugs! Why? As they say if someone invents an unpickable lock; another someone will figure out the means to pick that lock! In other words those who DO wish to indulge in drugs WILL find a source and a means. Carlos Castaneda’s books are a clue.

  49. 55 Russ, Bay Area, USA
    February 23, 2010 at 18:28

    The US should offer each of the 25 million illegal Mexican aliens in the US a portion of the “war on drugs money” to stand up and go back to the country that they love and fight for it!

  50. 56 Anthony
    February 23, 2010 at 18:28

    @ chinaski in LA

    Like I said, I believe in the legalization of cannabis, JUST LIKE THE WORSE SUBSTANCES ALCOHOL AND NICOTINE. Cannabis doesn’t ruin lives like the other drugs you listed.

    Legalizing cannabis doesn’t mean you have to legalize everything.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  51. February 23, 2010 at 18:30

    Not all users are abusers,just like anything else there is limit(all things in moderation).Legalize it and the dealers are out of business at the stroke of a pen.Then the government has total control.The way we takle it now is not working;is it!

    I listened to a TV programme interview of a small time dealer,he said it would suprise people if they knew to whom he delivered his drugs to,obviously not all layabouts,he was implying professionals.

  52. 58 subra
    February 23, 2010 at 18:34

    The first culprit is the politicians that protect the drug tycoons for financing their electoral campaigns. If society could be cleansed of these unethical and corrupt politicians, half the problem is resolved.

    There is absolutely nothing that is free from problems. Even sugar- the sweetest of our food item- is not free from trouble. An abuse of sugar leads to Diabetes. which has become another great killer of the modern time.
    Imagine what havoc drugs will cause if their sale is legalized and easily accessible to one and all at low prices.
    Other solutions must be found and drugs must be banned. All drug addicts must be treated quickly.
    Education can help immensely. If teachers could be encouraged to discuss the nefarious effects of drugs with their students once a month, this will definitely help a lot in combating drug consumption.

  53. 59 jens
    February 23, 2010 at 18:35

    chinaski in LA,

    while i do not condone drug use, i can tell you several implications of having even hard drugs legalized. One would be the erradication of a crimnal subculture and a reduction of prison population, which is hughly expensive to states. the other would be a clean supply of these drugs and no more “trailer or motel” meth labs. with clean and controlled drugs comes a tax revenue. in addition clean drugs prevent a lot of the negative health implications due to “streching’ the supplies with anything from baby powder to poisoneous chemicals.

    just my two cents, and trust me anyone who wants drugs gets them today. i personally think drugs are a waste of money and time.

  54. 60 Anthony
    February 23, 2010 at 18:38

    Here is an article that shows that the DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE states cannabis is California’s top cash crop, pulling in 14 BILLION DOLLARS with second place going to all vegetables in California pulling in 5.7 billion dollars.


    So $14 billion is going to gang members and the mafia… great, that’s what we need in California.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  55. 61 Alan in AZ
    February 23, 2010 at 18:47

    In 1971 my father died and my mother had this hair brained idea to move the family to El Paso from Florida, to be near her sister. It was a huge culture shock for a 6th grader. Yeah the Mexican food was so much better, but society was totally turned around for me. As time went on and I grew up in a world between US and Mexican social norms, I found it odd to see the contrasts between the societies. You know things aren’t right when the cops work with civilians to fleece the tourist by running a bicycle into a car and claiming injury just as a Police Office shows up. You know you have problems with the fundamental morals of a society. Juarez continued to get worse and I stopped going over even with Hispanic friends. I still have high school friends with family in Juarez who they never see unless the relatives travel to El Paso. One of them lost a cousin to a drug related altercation a few years ago. It has become so bad in the whole country, that a fellow employee here in Arizona has continually invested into finding legal jobs for relatives and has spent his free time dealing with all the legal issues of helping them migrate to Arizona. He will only travel to Porto Penasco to go fishing, because it has become so Americanized. Mexico has become a society based on corruption and who you know.
    My conclusion would be to let Americans grow their own Cannabis and Tax and Regulate it. If the government confiscates any at the border. Sell it and put the money to good use. Increase enforcement at the border for hard drugs.
    It maybe more expensive and I don’t get as much, but I prefer to buy locally grown cannabis over Mexican, for no better reason than to keep my money in the states and support someone local, though it is still illegal. At least it’s no going toward murder in another country.

    • 62 Dictatore Generale Max Maximilian Maximus I
      February 23, 2010 at 19:41

      Re: Alan in AZ February 23, 2010 at 18:47

      Your comment is full of contradictions BUT it also has wisdom in it!

      As far as the contradictions go; you’re stuck in the ‘Gringo’ versus ”Greaser’ debate and as far as the wisdom goes I agree with you to the extent that the details (yet to be discussed or discovered) are agreeable too!

    • 63 Patrick
      February 24, 2010 at 14:24

      Alan police corruption in Mexico is not related to morals, its an issue of the police not being paid adequately and so they resort to corruption in order to get more money. American cops are sometimes corrupt but there is less corruption among American police officers because they get paid adequate wages.

  56. February 23, 2010 at 18:52

    Legalize it and the abnormal profits will become normal profits.
    This valuable good will become an ordinary commodity which everyone can cultivate. And then, drugs violence will not matter anymore.

  57. 65 d in indiana
    February 23, 2010 at 18:55

    Wouldn’t massive sweeping assassinations of drug lords and their associates solve this problem?

    • 66 Patrick
      February 24, 2010 at 14:34

      Giving the government the power to assasinate people is not a good idea. Criminals should be brought to court. Would you want to live in a society where government officials are allowed to kill whichever person they deem is a problem?

  58. February 23, 2010 at 19:02

    It’s hard to put an end to drug trade as the offer matches the demand. There are various forms of drugs to suit different types of addicts. Drug dealers can cross borders with their trade using creative methods to escape checks or simply buying officials and the police to carry on. It’s not just a Mexican problem. The difference is the high rate of drug related deaths in Mexico.

    Ending addiction to drug is the way out to put an end to drug trade and use. But this remains far-fetched as drug is grown, manufactured and traded in all corners of the world, notably in Afghanistan where both Talibans and warlords capitalise on it for their survival.

  59. 68 T
    February 23, 2010 at 19:03

    In a sense, this violence is just like the violence in Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s over THERE and not here in the States. So we don’t have to think about it.

    Imagine if Obama also used the military to stop drug dealers. And, we also had the same killings that Mexico does. How would the public react to that?

  60. February 23, 2010 at 19:08

    How many of the people who have commented here actually live in Mexico?

    I love the World Service, but World Have Your Say is in danger of becoming The Jeremy Kyle Show.

    We need real questions, that can be answered in an informed and polite manner. The BBC and the World Service in particular can play an important role in solving serious conflicts around the world. Falling into the sensationalism that has characterised World Have Your Say by polarising opinion with simplistic and biased questions is not the way to do it.

    By the way, an unrelated question: why is this blog hosted on a free WordPress.com site and not under bbc.co.uk?

  61. 70 steve
    February 23, 2010 at 19:10

    @ T

    The violence in Mexico spills over the US border.

  62. 71 steve
    February 23, 2010 at 19:24

    If people are illegally transporting guns to Mexico, why isn’t the mexican customs doing anything about this? You make it seem like it’s the US’s fault that people break the laws by illegally importing guns to Mexico.

  63. 72 Amad zaatreh
    February 23, 2010 at 19:24

    I think the drug is a back bone for maxico and maxican people many people have decleared for the BBC that they benefiting from this tread. I assumed that there is a similar situation in afhganstan in regard of drug production and trading but in maxico the smugglers are near to America which give them lucrative opportunity. In my opinion the government should concentrate on economic and social infrastracture rather than useing the army forces, 50 000 have died they are not nummber but humman being.

  64. 73 christian satrustegui
    February 23, 2010 at 19:28

    I am mexican living in Los Angeles : I have been clean and sober for 13 years +
    I see on a daily bases the toll of drugs. however as far as the drug trade and the impact on Mexico and the Mexicans is better explained in an old Mexican saying :
    “Poor Mexico so far from God and so close to the USA”

  65. 74 Pamela
    February 23, 2010 at 19:30

    Marijuana should be legalized in the US. Do countries like Netherlands have a drug trafficking problem related to marijuana? I believe the suppliers/growers of Marijuana in Mexico will be out of business if US allowed its citizens to freely grow their own OR US entrepreneurs could sell regulated, legal marijuana. (good source for reasonable taxes as well) Those of us who occasionally smoke pot should be able to purchase it in a liquor store OR ? It’s better than liquor – my experience shows it does not lead to heroin, does not lead to disease such as acute/chronic alcoholism, thousands of traffic deaths, etc. etc. So what’s the big deal???

    Cocaine might be more difficult, but legalizing it could also be a possibility. Prescription by a doctor might be a way to go. It’s a little more problematic, but should be studied for legalization as well. Adults should be able to do whatever they want with their own bodies, as long as it doesn’t harm ot hers. Drug trafficking is harming others. The current war on drugs has been a failure from the start. Mexico should change the minds of those in authority in the US. It’s really our problem, not theirs.

    RE: Guns – much more regulation is needed for ANY gun not intended for hunting animals for food. Is this all about the shameful amount of money that lobbyists pay government officials ????

    Corvallis, OR

  66. 75 d in indiana
    February 23, 2010 at 19:30

    Corruption IS the problem here. If there was no corruption, this problem would be reduced to a tolerable level. Tolerable, only because the issue will always exist. If we can reduce the violence and murders then we can succeed.

  67. 76 Anthony
    February 23, 2010 at 19:31

    @ T

    WHAT? There is a kidnapping in Arizona EVERY DAY linked to the drug trade. There are murders all the time in AZ, CA, and TX because of this. It’s very much a U.S. problem too.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  68. February 23, 2010 at 19:32

    If “recreational” drugs were legalized in the US and regulated like alcohol the prices would drop, our tax base would be enlarged, and the profit motive fueling crime would be vastly reduced. It was Prohibition that put the Mafia in business.

    The “global economy” contributes as well, as jobs have been moved from Mexico to Asian economies with even cheaper labor costs. Development of strong local economies and boycotting imports by all of us is a potential solution to that problem.

  69. 78 CJ McAuley
    February 23, 2010 at 19:35

    The prohibition of alcohol in the USA lead only to gang violence. The prohibition of drugs, especially over the last decade or so, has only led to gang violence in Mexico. The difference between the two instances: whereas gang violence over alcohol took place within the USA, but the cartels are now more adept and have their main distribution points in the foreign country of Mexico. Ergo, the violence is now “somewhere else” and not on USA soil. The only solution is to legalize drugs and remove most of the black market traders from the picture! Plus collect taxes on the merchandise sold.

  70. 79 Jonathan (rainy San Francisco)
    February 23, 2010 at 19:41

    Sorry, but the evidence is in and overwhelming: The war on drugs is a war on people, and it can never be won except by legalization. There’s just no other credible perspective.

    San Francisco

  71. 80 stephen/portland
    February 23, 2010 at 19:46

    The War on drugs got forgotten for the War on Terror. Dea agents get little funding and spend there day filing in forms to get pens for the office or picking up the little people not the drug lords.

  72. 81 EchoRose in Florida
    February 23, 2010 at 19:49

    It sounds like the debate is really the solution. What I see odd is that the proposed solutions either fall under taking away personal freedoms (checking every car) or giving more personal freedom (legalizing certain drugs).

    How ironic that the solution that will actually work to CONTROL this problem is the one that actually gives up CONTROL through legalization. It’s a shame the war on drugs proponents don’t get this.

  73. 82 steve
    February 23, 2010 at 19:49

    Wait, excommunicating these drug dealers would influence them to stop, but them committing murder doesn’t deter them from their religious beliefs???? Gee, I guess they forgot about the 10 commandments?

    • 83 Luz Ma from Mexico
      February 23, 2010 at 19:59

      Well, they have double standards.

      And believe it, excommunicating them would be a big blow for many of them. The Catholic Church is a big deal in Mexico.

  74. 84 Jonathan (rainy San Francisco)
    February 23, 2010 at 19:52

    Oh, Ros, did Al Capone and the Mafia become “nice guys” after Prohibition ended? No, they went into other improperly illegal industries. But it doesn’t matter whether gangsters are nice guys. Remove their profits and we make them irrelevant.

  75. 85 Tom D Ford
    February 23, 2010 at 19:52

    The problem seems to be the profit, so how to take that away from the equation?

    Give classes to people who want to use, give them a license to use, and then have the government give them their drugs at cost each day at government clinics.

    Then the users get what they want, the smugglers go out of business, the taxpayers get tax relief from not having to finance enforcement, the killings stop, and when the users have a problem they can get help aboveboard.

    The users are going to use no matter what everybody else does, so let’s give them their drugs at cost and take the profit out of the equation.

    Can anyone see a problem with that solution?

  76. 86 Tom D Ford
    February 23, 2010 at 19:55

    I would not legalize and commercialize drugs because the companies would then have an incentive to push drugs through advertising and other promotions to create more users.

    No! Just take all profit out of it!

  77. 87 Alan in AZ
    February 23, 2010 at 20:29

    @ Dictatore Generale Max Maximilian Maximus I

    Unfortunately I had to shorten my story considerable so it could fit on the blog at WHYS request. What was posted left out many relevant incidents that would have helped you understand my views and experience living in El Paso and visiting there over the years.

    Suffice it to say that I live a little over 2 hours from the border here in Phoenix. I have many friends that travel to the highly Americanized areas and enjoy it and feel safe. That’s because the Police cater to the Americans who actually pay their salaries and do a great job at that. But in the 25 years that I’ve lived here, I have had no desire to return to Mexico, even on a west coast cruise. The food here is just as good as anything there and I can get all the Mexican cooking products I could ever want.

    As far as I’m concerned Mexico could be 3 miles away like I grew up with and I still won’t visit it!

  78. 88 Jenny Monroy
    February 23, 2010 at 20:36

    One of the main reasons Mexico is on this drug ware, is because of the pressure from overseas, specially from the US. Tthey want us to cut supply without realising that demand is NEVER going to stop, not from the US, not from Mexico, not from other countries. That’s why many mexicans think it’s better to legalize drugs and make it a true business, but this couldn’t even be imaginable in the near future because of the corruption and lack of education in the country. The level of cinism by the goverment, police, legal justice system when it comes to fighting corruption, is unbelievable.
    General public seems to think, from comments I hear all the time, that decades ago, government coudn’t control supply either, but they used to make pacts with the cartels, so they remained “in peace”, each in their territory, with a free price and trade. Cartels would invest in public infraestructure and they would give money to the government, to keep it from putting drug people in jail or burning drugs. Cartels used to pay “taxes” in exchange, but with the government trying to become a clean state, and refusing to make further deals, the violence is rising, and the money is lacking, because supply is suffering.
    There’s no short term solution, because in Mexico, “Everything is negociable” due to corruption. But by investing in education and make a deep reform to the justice, education and labor system, Mexico has theresources toget out of the hole.

  79. 89 Pancho Villa
    February 23, 2010 at 20:37

    Oh, paradox!

    Controlling is giving up?
    Giving up is controlling?

  80. 90 Elias
    February 23, 2010 at 20:59

    It sure is out of control. The only way is to legalise one soft drug so that it can be obtained on a rationig basis and at low costs. There is no other way, it is successfull in Holand, so just do the same as the Dutch.

  81. 91 Guillermo
    February 23, 2010 at 22:11

    USA has spended millions of dollars in the frontier with Mexico building walls and electronic devices, and patrolmen to guard their security. But the problem is that drugs travel easily across the border, and the sophisticated devices and
    the customs officers do not detect them. And vice-versa the arms and munition
    that cross the frontier are not detected either. They say that the corruption is in the mexican side. But in a border and in the paranoic theme of terrorism, it is supposed that the gringos are the best to detect terrorists, arms and drugs.
    Who is more guilty? The one that boasts walls, patrolmen, airplanes, helicopters and whatever to make the crossing more difficult for people and the terrorist paranoia? Or the corrupted officers of Mexico in the border?
    If Bush and Obama and Clinton have declared that in their youth they used drugs, then where is the solution? Movie stars and rich people use drugs as consuming candy, as the tabloids explain, then the root of the problem is the hedonistic way of life of the so called democracy. How can you cut this?
    Education in USA must be enfasised in the consuming of drugs. Mexico has a superavit of dollars. 100 billion of dollars. And do you know why? Because of the narcodollars. This money is mostly in fiscal paradises, like Bahamas, Guatemala, Panama, Costa Rica, Aruba, where the rich people take their money. Wall Street is one who moves this money.

  82. 92 David
    February 23, 2010 at 22:37

    Those of you close minded enough to say this is Mexico’s problem and that the U.S. has no responsibility in this situation I must ask this.

    Have you ever seen the raids on drug lords in Mexico? They show them on Spanish News broadcasts from time to time. Do you know what is found at these raids?


    Anyone want to guess what type of currency the money confiscated is? Bingo. Stacks and stacks of U.S. dollars. What about the firearms? Oh yeah, they can be traced back to the U.S. as well. As for the drugs, well you got me, those weren’t made in the U.S. But want to guess where they were headed?

  83. 93 Marcus J Wilson
    February 23, 2010 at 22:38

    Why shouldn’t we legalize all drugs? If I can go to my doctor and get oxycotin, a highly addictive form of heroin, then why, as an intelligent responsible adult, can’t I get some pure heroin, LSD, cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine’s, MDMA, or any other drug I want?

    Please, I challenge someone to give me a good argument for making any of these substances illegal in a free society when I can poison myself with booze and cigarettes and high fructose corn syrup.

    Seriously people.

  84. 94 Brian Coyle
    February 23, 2010 at 22:38

    Many Americans who use marijuana claim its illegal status is the cause of Mexico’s suffering. But although many Americans use marijuana, most do not. The majority believes that legalization would hurt American society, and since this is the law, the minority does not have the right to use marijuana simply because they disagree. Those who want to use marijuana need to show the majority why legalization would not hurt the economy, education, and culture. I live in the San Francisco bay area, where marijuana supporters seem focus on whether it is healthy or not, not its social impact.

    For example, a marijuana user is less easy to detect than someone who has drunk alcohol. But to many people this is a dilemma, not an advantage. Few want their doctor, airplane pilot, or nuclear power plant operator to be stoned. Yet if marijuana was legal, and users hard to detect, what prevents this from happening?

  85. 95 Gary
    February 24, 2010 at 02:26

    First, declare a state of emergency and invoke marshal law. Second, seal the border to limit the amount of guns coming over the border from the US. This one needs to be a joint operation with the US authorities. Third, treat the fight against the drug cartels as a military operation. Target the crops, then the warehouses, then the distribution points. Invoke No Fly Zones to limit the opportunity to get the drugs out of the country. Authorized civilian aircraft such as airlines be restricted to flying corridors. If any aircraft is found to be outside of a designated flight path they are challenged and shot down if necessary.

  86. 96 Clamdip
    February 24, 2010 at 04:06

    Thank You David Price. Exactly my point. Would Senor Antonio from Los Angeles care if his child’s preschool teacher was high on marijuana? Antonio, Many pilots have been caught flying a plane drunk. The same is probably true for marijuana.
    Marijuana is all but legal in Los Angeles because you can go into any pot pharmacy with a headache and buy a joint. If you legalize it the Mafia will still control it just like the alcohol industry. I don’t really care if drugs are legalized or not. I just worry about the lives of children who are decimated by addiction. Addiction is the issue. Why are so many Americans addicted to drugs? That’s the issue.

    • 97 Marcus J Wilson
      February 24, 2010 at 23:49

      Oh my god the children! What about the children?!?!

      Give me a break. I’d MUCH rather a pilot be high on pot than drunk. I’d rather they be sober, but if I had to choose, I’d take marijuana any day over any other drug. Americans are addicted like crazy due to our failed policies. Our treatment programs are underfunded and users usually just end up in jail only to begin a cyclical process of crime.

      Also, the mafia doesn’t control the alcohol industry. I don’t know where you figured that in.

  87. 98 touqeer W. Chishty
    February 24, 2010 at 09:12

    Well, how long they fight for the prevention of the drugs, yes i agree the drug dealers should be hanged,if they guilty and there should be some legal proceeducre followed instead of demolishing them through brutal force, and i also feel more money should be spend for the growth of education, prevention of povety and other social problems of Mexico, The authorities should educate the youth thorough media about the overall negative effects of drugs on the society. On the other hand the UN should also do more on this problem. I seriously feel that drugs can easily demolished a generation.

  88. 99 J. Augustine - WI USA
    February 24, 2010 at 09:39

    This report proves the double standard by which justice is being enforced inside as opposed to outside the US. If military forces were being used to confront the drugs trade at its source, the US military would be launching predator drones against US cities, possibly inflicting some acceptable level of collateral damage against innocent US civilians. Maybe even in the suburbs, where drug use is still as prevalent as in the inner cities, especially taking into account the price of pot these days.

    If this were the direction the war on drugs were taking, paramilitary forces within the US would then have proof of what they’ve been saying all along, that US citizens should be prepared to take up arms against their own government and defend themselves against it. The headlines might read: Bagdad comes home to roost for real.

    Of course, that headline would be misleading. “Bagdad” would just be used as a buzzword meaning “domestic civil unrest.” Dramatic metaphores aside, my point is that a double standard exists whereby it is still considered OK to use insanely senseless violence against foreign nationals, even when there is little hope that the ends will justify the means. But US citizens would never stand for that kind of violence being used against themselves. Not to mention being unwilling to pay for it.

    Are there any “Tea” Partiers still reading this? Were there ever, or do they get their facts straightened out somewhere else?

  89. 100 Billy
    February 24, 2010 at 11:04

    “Is it out of control?????”
    It has been for a long time.
    Best thing would be to legalise all drugs thus pulling the income away from the drug barons so they have less money to wage their campaign of terror.
    Plus generally the quality of non-black-market materials will be better as suppliers can openly compete with each other so there would be even less incentive for users to go to shady dealers.

    I doubt the CIA want this though as they’d probably lose quite a bit of their revenue.

  90. 101 Marcus J Wilson
    February 25, 2010 at 00:03

    I’m extremely disappointed but in no way surprised that no one has given any decent, logical reason for keeping all drugs illegal.

  91. 102 Andrew (World Citizen)
    February 25, 2010 at 03:52

    Should we legalize murder because we can’t stop it? Just because something is hard to accomplish does not mean you fold to the pressure and give up! Whether drugs should be legal is not the issue, the issue is the war on drugs by the Mexican Authorities. You guys are making it seem like all crime comes from Drugs and that if we eliminate that then we are free and clear… That is naive and ridiculous. I dont know how many of you actually understand what these cartels are about in Mexico but drugs is not the top issue.

    You are focusing on the battle along the US border, but not about the human trafficking, extortion, targeted killing’s, kidnappings etc

    Drugs is an issue but not one that legalization in the US will solve for Mexico… So please stop using it as a bully pulpit.

    An as for my belief, I do believe that decriminalization is a good idea in regards to marijuana, but not because of crime… Because it is really no worse for our society than alcohol, if used in moderation of course.


    • 103 Marcus J Wilson
      February 25, 2010 at 22:30

      I feel like marijuana, even in extremely excessive amounts is still better than alcohol for our society, but that’s besides the point.

      I think legalizing drugs would solve this problem. And you can’t compare it to legalizing murder. The majority of the American population use recreational drugs. The majority, however, do not commit murder. Murder is something we can do something about, if we weren’t so focused on fighting the war on drugs. How do you think these cartels get their money? DRUGS! You cannot sit there and say anything different. The cocaine and marijuana trade is the most profitable business in the world. Billions and billions of tax free dollars. We need to take that money away from the cartels, plain and simple. The only answer is legalization. Do you see any of these cartels producing booze and tobacco?

      So let’s get this straight, you’d rather deny the American people their civil liberties, allow more deaths to occur than in the Iraq war, and keep fighting this bloody useless war instead of legalizing the choice to put whatever we want as Americans into our bodies?

  92. 104 Jagjit Singh Mukandpuri
    February 27, 2010 at 14:53

    This is the greatest problem of the developing and the countries of third world. But drugs are great dangour to the humanity. This is the failur of law implementing agencies like police and unemployment, lack of education and corruption. It is the biggest threat to the future generations.

  93. 105 js
    March 16, 2010 at 05:49

    america will not realize the problems in mexico until it is affecting its people,when the kidnapping of ameicans becomes an every day thing like in mexico,and rich people are getting kidnaped and murdered. we might then see a differance.people in america think that its a mexican problem,but its already here and it is getting bad,
    people are found dead,almost every day(rgv) just last night two men were shot at a local walmart. local law enforcement does not have manpower to deal with this problems wake up people its comiing to town near you. law enforcement might not want to accept that the probem is here but it is .. we are beening invaded by mexicans trying to get away from the vilance, its not the poor people it the rich that can afford it. the poor just have to deal with it in mexico.they were saying that in nuevo laredo if you snizze somebody will shoot you. WE NEED MORE LAW ENFORCEMENT IN THE RIO GRANDE VALLEY!!!!!!!

  94. 106 Guillermo
    March 17, 2010 at 00:51

    Obama is indignant for the murder of 2 employees of the USA consulate in Juárez. The third one the spouse of an employee of the consulate. We have the invasion of FBI,DEA, Tobacco…, Customs and Security of the embassies.
    They have taken the bodies of this people to El Paso to make a second autopsy. But they still ignore the cause. Why were they persecuted and killed?
    Obama praises Calderón and says that the mexican government is making the effort. But again we have the big question. Why they don´t detect drugs that
    go across the border? Why they don´t detect the firearms that cross toward Mexico? Why in the other side of the border nothing happens? Mexico puts the casualties and USA the consumers. The money comes back and forth but the
    Treasure of USA doesn´t know where. In this side Calderón stubbornly keeps 92,000 soldiers in his little war. But when 15 teen agers were killed, he was not
    aghast. He said they were bandits. The people of Juárez repudiate him. He has gone this day, for the third time to find a new solution. The drug dealers have put in the streets legends that Calderón covers “Chapo Guzmán” and fights the cartels of Sinaloa, the line, the family and the gulf. He denies. And by the way
    Chapo Guzmán appears in the list of Forbes as one of the billionares of Mexico. It seems that Obama is waiting an opportunity to take office of Mexico. History has write many of this interventions of USA.

  95. 107 Sharim
    March 23, 2010 at 01:13

    People should stop doing drugs for ethical reasons. One gram of coke will cost the life of some innocent person who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Maybe then people will realize that having fun on a Saturday night is not as fun for someone accross the border/pond.

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