"In the past two weeks before this column went to press, at least 40 people were either killed or their bodies were found in Mexico. The dead include 12 federal agents, one mayor, one police officer and two anti-crime activists, one of whom was a U.S. citizen. In that same time span at least 112 police officers were detained for alleged corruption.
Just to our south, some 11,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence over the past two and a half years. Decapitated bodies, mutilated victims, dead police officers and a country gripped with fear are all the result of our country's obscene drug policy.
If the U.S. government were to re-legalize or even decriminalize drugs, the incentive for drug cartels to behead Mexican police officers would vanish. Mexican politicians wouldn't have to relocate their families to Texas to keep them safe. I might be inclined to visit Juarez the next time I see my in-laws in El Paso.
If you cringe at the idea of legalized drugs in the U.S., ask yourself this: What is it about the war on drugs over the past four decades that makes you think this is still a good policy?
Is it the estimated $50 billion spent annually by local, state and federal governments to wage this absurd war? I know that may seem like a paltry sum compared to the spending proclivities of Obama and President Bush, but where I come from, that's a lot of money. Or is it the 11,000 dead in Mexico? Maybe you're impressed by the volume of drug-related incarcerations. According to Common Sense for Drug Policy, more than half of all federal inmates and 20 percent of all state prisoners are in for drug charges.
The Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy, formed by the ex-presidents of Brazil, Columbia and Mexico, recently said "acknowledging the failure of current policies and their consequences is the inescapable prerequisite for opening up the discussion about a new paradigm leading to safer, more efficient and humane drug policies."
It's time for our politicians to admit to a failed policy -- one that was doomed from the beginning.
The taxpayers of this country have been fleeced in the name of prohibition for decades with no discernible benefit."
Thoughts? One of our friends has been silenced on speaking out on this issue. It was either that or spend 2 years in the slammer. Are we going down the right road here? Or do we really need to re-think this?