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Our Drug War Next Door

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This is one of the main reasons why our current policy on certain illegal drugs is 1) outdated, 2) ineffective, and worst of all 3) counter-productive.  We are indirectly financing drug cartels by making certain drugs illegal when we could easily be putting that money into our economy (which certainly needs the boost) and keeping it out of the hands of criminals.  By making possession of drugs a crime we are encouraging and fostering crime.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/01/our_drug_war_mext_door.html

Our Drug War Next Door

By Clarence Page

Before you venture into Ciudad Juarez, brace yourself to hear Texans tell you that you're crazy.

Visiting friends in neighboring El Paso a few days before Christmas, I was immediately warned, "Don't even think about going into Juarez."

Just across the shallow creek known as the Rio Grande from El Paso, one of the safest cities of its size in the nation, Juarez is a city under siege, the worst victim of Mexico's growing wars between drug cartels.

The tragedy is etched in daily news headlines. The same day I arrived, two Mexican police offers were ambushed, shot to death while sitting in their patrol car. Just another bloody day in Juarez.

Hardly a day goes by without a new Juarez horror story in the El Paso Times:

"Man found dead with hands severed."

"Prominent Juarez lawyer, son, among four found dead Tuesday."

"Man found shot to death in trash drum."

"El Paso charities afraid to cross border."

"Juarez area slayings top 20 in new year."

Murders across Mexico more than doubled last year to more than 5,600. That's more than the total Americans lost so far in the Iraq war.

Most of those murders have been happening in border towns. More than 1,600 were killed in Juarez, Mexico's fourth largest city, with a population of 1.7 million. The bloodbath of unspeakable brutality includes kidnappings and decapitated bodies left in public places as a grisly form of advertising.

"There have already been 20 murders in Juarez this year," Beto O'Rourke, a member of El Paso's city council, told me in a telephone interview this week as President-elect Barack Obama met with Mexico's President Felipe Calderon Monday. "That doesn't include the kidnappings and extortions. Ciudad Juarez is essentially a failed city at this point. They can't guarantee your safety."

The situation is deteriorating so fast that "Mexico is on the edge of abyss," retired four-star Gen. Barry McCaffrey, a drug czar under President Clinton, said.

"It could become a narco-state in the coming decade," he wrote in a recent report, and the result could be a "surge of millions of refugees" crossing the U.S. border to escape.

Something drastic needed to be done, O'Rourke, a fourth-generation El Paso resident, decided. A proposed city council resolution called for more federal action on both sides of the border to reduce the flow of guns and drugs.

But it wasn't strong enough. O'Rourke pushed things further by adding 12 words: "supporting an honest, open, national debate on ending the prohibition on narcotics." The council passed it unanimously.

Yet even a bid to talk about drug legalization was too much for Mayor John Cook. He vetoed the bill, at least partly out of concern that Washington might not take the measure seriously with the drug legalization line in it.

Nevertheless, the controversy brought what has been rare American media attention to Mexico's crisis by turning it into radio and cable TV talk fodder. That's a start.

Obama promised more American help to Calderon in a meeting that focused on trade, immigration and the drug war. President Bush successfully pushed the Merida initiative, a $1.4 billion security package to help Mexico with high-tech equipment and anti-drug training.

The first $400 million, approved by Congress last year, has begun to flow. But the rest of the funds could be slowed by the many other financial pressures this country and the incoming Obama administration faces.

And Calderon faces mounting pressures on his two-year-old campaign against drug and gun smuggling. The campaign that actually touched off much of the fighting between the cartels. It has also exposed corruption that reached the highest levels of his government. Even a member of his security team has been arrested for allegedly feeding information to the cartels in exchange for money.

When you step back and take a broad look at Mexico's growing carnage, it's easy to see why El Paso's city leaders think legalization doesn't look so bad. Mexico's drug problem is not the drugs. It is the illegality of the drugs.

Legalization is not the perfect solution. But treating currently illegal drugs in the way we treat liquor and other legal addictive substances would provide regulation, tax revenue and funds for rehabilitation programs. Most satisfying, it would wipe a lot of smiles off the current drug lords' faces.



We had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a salt shaker half full of cocaine, a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers…Also a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of beer, a pint of raw ether and two dozen amyls.  The only thing that really worried me was the ether.  There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of an ether binge. –Raoul Duke

It is hard to shed anything but crocodile tears over White House speechwriter Patrick Buchanan's tragic analysis of the Nixon debacle. "It's like Sisyphus," he said. "We rolled the rock all the way up the mountain...and it rolled right back down on us...."  Neither Sisyphus nor the commander of the Light Brigade nor Pat Buchanan had the time or any real inclination to question what they were doing...a martyr, to the bitter end, to a "flawed" cause and a narrow, atavistic concept of conservative politics that has done more damage to itself and the country in less than six years than its liberal enemies could have done in two or three decades. -Hunter S. Thompson

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The only thing I think about legalizing drugs is that, to benefit the state 'hard' drugs would have to be outlawed or production/growing of 'soft' drugs would need to be outlawed. I think alcohol and tobacco are different from marijuana simply because of a production issue. While I believe people would still buy marijuana from retailers if it was legalized, I think many would simply grow it. Marijuana is extremeley easy to grow and has high yields, especially since most people wouldn't smoke the equivalent of two packs of ciggarettes worth everyday. I know the plant turn around takes a while so, of course people would still need to buy it for convenience sake.
The problem with that is to have people buying it prices would drop dramatically for even weed. Which last time I checked was like between $20-30 /gram between $300-$600 /oz (quality) etc. Now if a plant can yield 1/2 lb fully grown, you are lookin at 8 oz or around 2000 dollars street price probably (could be a lot higher, its been about 5 years). Point being, for it to be worth people buying weed at stores, it would have to be around cigarrette prices, or maybe double that. Problem is that most people aren't going to smoke 20 joints in a day, (some obviously may) so you wouldn't have the volume like cigarettes.

Basically the government would have to do what they did with liquor, and that is ban production. Distillation is illegal last time I checked, for an individual to do (though you can ferment stuff and make beer, wine [ive done it, and it takes a while and isnt cost effective]). Now if the government wants to legalize cocaine/heroin/meth etc. Then that would be cost effective for people because of the amount of processing (although there are a lot of meth labs). I just don't see Marijuana bringing in a ton of revenue as a high taxed item, unless they outlaw growing.

I'm all for it being legal though, but if it is legal how can we use drug money to fund guerillas and death squads?



You know, this is not a problem for the US.
I mean, this particular story.



What gets me confused is that certain people wanted smoking banned and marijuana legalized... This makes zero sense. Also, I am kind of afraid what would happen if 1/4th of the country is f*cked up at once. Crime might go down, because prices would go down, but it means more people have access to drugs, and therefore, all the drawbacks from getting high. Mood swings and such.



And that's the only thing I need is *this*. I don't need this or this. Just this PS4... And this gaming PC. - The PS4 and the Gaming PC and that's all I need... And this Xbox 360. - The PS4, the Gaming PC, and the Xbox 360, and that's all I need... And these PS3's. - The PS4, and these PS3's, and the Gaming PC, and the Xbox 360... And this Nintendo DS. - The PS4, this Xbox 360, and the Gaming PC, and the PS3's, and that's all *I* need. And that's *all* I need too. I don't need one other thing, not one... I need this. - The Gaming PC and PS4, and Xbox 360, and thePS3's . Well what are you looking at? What do you think I'm some kind of a jerk or something! - And this. That's all I need.

Obligatory dick measuring Gaming Laptop Specs: Sager NP8270-GTX: 17.3" FULL HD (1920X1080) LED Matte LC, nVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M, Intel Core i7-4700MQ, 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3, 750GB SATA II 3GB/s 7,200 RPM Hard Drive

jv103 said:
The only thing I think about legalizing drugs is that, to benefit the state 'hard' drugs would have to be outlawed or production/growing of 'soft' drugs would need to be outlawed. I think alcohol and tobacco are different from marijuana simply because of a production issue. While I believe people would still buy marijuana from retailers if it was legalized, I think many would simply grow it. Marijuana is extremeley easy to grow and has high yields, especially since most people wouldn't smoke the equivalent of two packs of ciggarettes worth everyday. I know the plant turn around takes a while so, of course people would still need to buy it for convenience sake.
The problem with that is to have people buying it prices would drop dramatically for even weed. Which last time I checked was like between $20-30 /gram between $300-$600 /oz (quality) etc. Now if a plant can yield 1/2 lb fully grown, you are lookin at 8 oz or around 2000 dollars street price probably (could be a lot higher, its been about 5 years). Point being, for it to be worth people buying weed at stores, it would have to be around cigarrette prices, or maybe double that. Problem is that most people aren't going to smoke 20 joints in a day, (some obviously may) so you wouldn't have the volume like cigarettes.

Basically the government would have to do what they did with liquor, and that is ban production. Distillation is illegal last time I checked, for an individual to do (though you can ferment stuff and make beer, wine [ive done it, and it takes a while and isnt cost effective]). Now if the government wants to legalize cocaine/heroin/meth etc. Then that would be cost effective for people because of the amount of processing (although there are a lot of meth labs). I just don't see Marijuana bringing in a ton of revenue as a high taxed item, unless they outlaw growing.

I'm all for it being legal though, but if it is legal how can we use drug money to fund guerillas and death squads?

Do you honestly think that if marijuana was legal people would buy home-grown drugs/grow their own?  HELL NO! 

If there is one thing that is more consistent than anything else in America it is the average person's laziness.  Marijuana is currently priced close to 6x on the black market what it would probably cost you to buy at the store.  Mass production through legal venues will make marijuana cost about as much as cigarettes, if only slightly more.

The cost of marijuana is as high as it is because it is illegal.  You are admitting yourself that it is easy to grow.  Doesn't that mean that if it is easy to grow then it won't cost that much to produce?

I guarantee you if you could by marijuana at the store for 1/3 of the price it currently sells at, almost no current marijuana users would grow their own or buy it anywhere except the store.  Not to mention pot smokers are lazy!  Not to mention the quality of the marijuana in stores would probably be much higher than what you could buy "illegally".  There is no reason to make growing marijuana illegal.  You don't see people going around and growing their own tobacco do you?

 



We had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a salt shaker half full of cocaine, a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers…Also a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of beer, a pint of raw ether and two dozen amyls.  The only thing that really worried me was the ether.  There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of an ether binge. –Raoul Duke

It is hard to shed anything but crocodile tears over White House speechwriter Patrick Buchanan's tragic analysis of the Nixon debacle. "It's like Sisyphus," he said. "We rolled the rock all the way up the mountain...and it rolled right back down on us...."  Neither Sisyphus nor the commander of the Light Brigade nor Pat Buchanan had the time or any real inclination to question what they were doing...a martyr, to the bitter end, to a "flawed" cause and a narrow, atavistic concept of conservative politics that has done more damage to itself and the country in less than six years than its liberal enemies could have done in two or three decades. -Hunter S. Thompson

That was my point. Say an average smoker of tobacco smokes 1/2 pack a day (maybe more), the average pot smoker probably doesn't smoke ten joints a day, so the volume of marijuana sold would be lower than than tobacco. I imagine that most people who smoke the herb are casual users, not consuming at the level of tobacco smokers. Besides I used to be really involved in pot culture, and there is nothing a pothead loves more than his babies (plants). I just think the people would use on a daily basis (say more than 2 grams a day) would grow it. This is all from personal experience, because Marihuana is so easy to grow, doesn't need to be completely killed to harvest and yields a lot of smoking material from one plant.

I'm not arguing against legalization, I just don't think you would see tax revenues as high as there are with smoking and drinking. That is unless about half the population smoked weed like they do cigarettes.

Growing ones own tobacco takes too much work (in my opinion way more than marijuana).

"If you want to grow tobacco to make your own cigarettes or pipe tobacco, you should have an area at least 8 meters by 1 meter. This will be enough to grow approximately fifty tobacco plants, which will allow you to make about 5000 or more cigarettes. (But remember that smoking is hazardous to your heath and we do not recommend it!)" http://www.rusticgirls.com/gardening/growing-tobacco.html

 

16-25 cigarrettes a day 35.8% of smokers

http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/2k3/cigs/cigs.htm

5000/20 = 250 days of cigarettes from 50 tobacco plants.

I was going to get marijuana numbers, but I have to go.

I think that we should legalize marijuana, but pretending that it will somehow be this huge influx of tax revenenue is too idealistic. It will bring some revenue though(not even comparable to tobacco or alcohol though), not enough to wipe out the deficit though or anything like that. The biggest benefit is stopping the violence.

I'm not making any sense apparently.

Basically to make it worthwhile you'd have to get the same amount of pot smokers as tobacco smokers and have them spend the same as tobacco smokers would on a weekly basis. Say average smoker buys 50 dollars of cigarettes, you would need the average pot smoker to spend that much. Currently that's about an eighth of marijuana for that price. An eighth would probably last the majority at least a week. That's at street prices. Now if you wanted to lower prices, you must raise consumption to equal that or be greater than that if you want to take in serious revenue (at least what cigarettes take in). If the government could sell weed at the current prices, then yeah it would make a shitload, but cheaper than that, I doubt it would bring in that much.

That was my point if I ever had one.

"Calculating the total amount of marijuana available in a given year based on the amount seized during that year necessarily provides only a rough estimate. If only 10 percent of illicit drugs are seized in any given year, then, based on the figure of 2,412,365 pounds of marijuana seized in 2002, one could estimate that in 2002 the total amount of marijuana that traffickers succeeded in smuggling into the country was roughly 24 million pounds," - I just chose the highest consumption estimate for marijuana  http://www.drugscience.org/Archive/bcr4/5Supply.html

Now tobacco

"Since farmers grow tobacco, they likely are more interested in the consumption

of cigarette tobacco than of cigarettes. From a peak of 1.17 billion pounds

(processing weight) in 1963, U.S. annual cigarette tobacco consumption has declined

to 747 million pounds in 2001"  http://www.nationalaglawcenter.org/assets/crs/RL30947.pdf

 

Tax would need to be really large on marijuana to make up for the smaller volume (so would price for the company to make a good profit)

I'm done

 

 

 

 

 



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Its not just about the tax revenue, it is about the multiplier effect that those dollars would have if they were being put back into the economy rather than being put into the hands of drug lords.

I'll give two illustrations:

Me > store that sells marijuana > pays its employees and has money go to corporate profits > they purchase goods and services they want > those stores make money > those employees get paid > etc.

And all of that money is taxable.

Compare to

Me > drug dealer who sells marijuana > (some money) drug dealer and his associates use in our economy > (most of the money) goes to finance illegal activities across the border.

A much smaller percentage of that 1) goes to our economy and 2) much less of it is taxable.

Furthermore, give me ONE other example of ANY product where more than 10% of the people who use that product manufacture their own version of the product at home? Marijuana is a product like anything else. If it is available in 1) mass quantities 2) for reasonable prices, people will rely on private manufacturers to make that product for them. You are underestimating how cheaply and effectively private manufacturers can make marijuana to the point that even the most advanced marijuana smokers would buy it from the store.

You will always have small percentages of the population who makes their own version of the product (people with vegetable gardens at home), but that is irrelevant as there will always be people like that in ANY market. That is simply unavoidable and why should it be punished? It only matters what the vast majority of consumers do.



We had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a salt shaker half full of cocaine, a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers…Also a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of beer, a pint of raw ether and two dozen amyls.  The only thing that really worried me was the ether.  There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of an ether binge. –Raoul Duke

It is hard to shed anything but crocodile tears over White House speechwriter Patrick Buchanan's tragic analysis of the Nixon debacle. "It's like Sisyphus," he said. "We rolled the rock all the way up the mountain...and it rolled right back down on us...."  Neither Sisyphus nor the commander of the Light Brigade nor Pat Buchanan had the time or any real inclination to question what they were doing...a martyr, to the bitter end, to a "flawed" cause and a narrow, atavistic concept of conservative politics that has done more damage to itself and the country in less than six years than its liberal enemies could have done in two or three decades. -Hunter S. Thompson

Uh, well, "legalizing" drugs is a really poor idea. It doesn't fix anything. A good example of this is 19th century China where 90% of the population was permanently high on opium. It was ruinous to their country... so I 100% do not agree with legalizing such stuff.

I actually advocate full military force being used again the cartels.. and not simply covert CIA/DEA operations. If you bring the drug war to us, we send in the Marines and permanently eliminate the cartels.



MarioKart:

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Yeah Akuma I get your point on sending that money to other countries. I just edited and added the volume of consumption. It's roughly one /thirtieth the consumption of tobacco in weight. I wonder if the price is comparable? Yes there is monetary incentive for industry to legalize it, I just don't think the revenue would be a panacea for economic problems, as I've heard elsewhere (I haven't really directly been debating you, I've really just been arguing to myself on the situation). I don't even think revenue would reach what gambling, tobacco, or alcohol are at. I see the logic behind everything your saying.

Good point about the money staying in the economy though. I don't think it would spawn a large industry growth, maybe some. In fact, you would probably have philip morris and other companies just convert some of their fields to marijuana, in place of tobacco (because the market is currently shrinking).

I guess it would allow for a lot of small start up head-shops.

I like legalizing marijuana so her, brother hemp can get a fair chance.

Not to mention Cocaine and Heroin, are where all the real money is being made. Should we legalize those, or simply decriminalize?



The marijuana market would be HUGE if it was legal. You underestimate how many people smoke it already and how many more would do it if it was legal. Plus you don't need that much to get high, so they could charge relatively high prices (much less than street value now), plus the quality would be so much better.

But that is beside the point. It doesn't have to be a huge industry to help the economy. No one is suggesting it would be a panacea, but why keep something that is 1) not dangerous and 2) for which there is a high demand off the market? That completely goes against free market principles (though ironically you will have many people praise the free market out one side of their mouth and criticize marijuana out the other side).

@Comrade:

No one is advocating legalizing narcotics like cocaine and opium. But drug lords make more money off marijuana than everything else. Marijuana is like the Wal-Mart of drugs. Its just a money making business because of volume. It would cripple many drug cartels if they lost that source of revenue. Even a lot of gangs thrive off the drug trade as it is such easy money (built-in demand). The war on drugs has made the world a much more dangerous place.

What you are suggesting is like trying to wage a war against terrorists. Its difficult if not impossible. There is simply too much money involved. You dethrone one drug cartel and another will rise in its place because you are essentially fighting a war against demand. Its like declaring war on restaurant owners for trying to serve people food. They will serve people food one way or another. What I am suggesting is like preventing the terrorists from being able to support themselves in the first place.

Furthermore, there are very few sociological or scientific arguments that someone can articulate for why marijuana should be illegal that wouldn't also suggest that alcohol should be illegal. If you have any, I would love to hear them.



We had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a salt shaker half full of cocaine, a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers…Also a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of beer, a pint of raw ether and two dozen amyls.  The only thing that really worried me was the ether.  There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of an ether binge. –Raoul Duke

It is hard to shed anything but crocodile tears over White House speechwriter Patrick Buchanan's tragic analysis of the Nixon debacle. "It's like Sisyphus," he said. "We rolled the rock all the way up the mountain...and it rolled right back down on us...."  Neither Sisyphus nor the commander of the Light Brigade nor Pat Buchanan had the time or any real inclination to question what they were doing...a martyr, to the bitter end, to a "flawed" cause and a narrow, atavistic concept of conservative politics that has done more damage to itself and the country in less than six years than its liberal enemies could have done in two or three decades. -Hunter S. Thompson

akuma587 said:
The marijuana market would be HUGE if it was legal. You underestimate how many people smoke it already and how many more would do it if it was legal. Plus you don't need that much to get high, so they could charge relatively high prices (much less than street value now), plus the quality would be so much better.

But that is beside the point. It doesn't have to be a huge industry to help the economy. No one is suggesting it would be a panacea, but why keep something that is 1) not dangerous and 2) for which there is a high demand off the market? That completely goes against free market principles (though ironically you will have many people praise the free market out one side of their mouth and criticize marijuana out the other side).

@Comrade:

No one is advocating legalizing narcotics like cocaine and opium. But drug lords make more money off marijuana than everything else. Marijuana is like the Wal-Mart of drugs. Its just a money making business because of volume. It would cripple many drug cartels if they lost that source of revenue. Even a lot of gangs thrive off the drug trade as it is such easy money (built-in demand). The war on drugs has made the world a much more dangerous place.

What you are suggesting is like trying to wage a war against terrorists. Its difficult if not impossible. There is simply too much money involved. You dethrone one drug cartel and another will rise in its place because you are essentially fighting a war against demand. Its like declaring war on restaurant owners for trying to serve people food. They will serve people food one way or another. What I am suggesting is like preventing the terrorists from being able to support themselves in the first place.

Furthermore, there are very few sociological or scientific arguments that someone can articulate for why marijuana should be illegal that wouldn't also suggest that alcohol should be illegal. If you have any, I would love to hear them.

 

In principal, I agree with you.  I'd rather be riding with a "high" driver than a "drunk" driver any day of the week.

But from experience, I know that smoking a little bud is a lot more intoxicating per se than drinking a few beers.

So, what I am saying is, then in both of their worst states, being "high" is better.  But assuming that both are used in moderation, I feel much better about alcohol.

As for the cartels, I have always advocated violent opposition.  I don't think the US government should sit back idly and wait for foreign governments to crack down on the cartels.  I think the US armed forces should go to defcon 1 against them.  We've jacked with the cartels long enough.  The Mexican and Columbian governments have had problems fighting them because of corruption.  More often than not, these governments armed forces are being bought of by the cartels.  And the CIA is almost as bad as them.  The CIA is the most corrupt and disgusting agency in the United States.

That's why I say we try something completely new.  Treat the war on drugs like the war on terror.  Send in the armed forces, full force and annihilate the cartels.

The cartels are not in hiding by any means.  The drug lords have mansions/compounds whose locations are well known.  In the past we've just respected the sovereignty of the nations that host the cartels.  I say forget that, and literally invade the cartels' safe zones, clean them out, and then leave.



MarioKart:

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