Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Obama policies expose Drug War hypocrisy

The Wall Street Journal yesterday analysed the effects of President Barak Obama's new policy of halting Federal busts for medical marihuana use in states where it is legal.

Like all policies that decriminalise use but keep trafficking illegal, the policy means the high-risk and high-profit incentive for illegal drug cartels continues.

The Journal relates this to the carnage in Mexico. There, major drug cartels making around $10bn a year out of gringo demand for pot and coke also fight a bloody armed war against their own government, which is in turn financed by the Americans. So US money is fighting US money on foreign ground.

Mexico is paying a high price for this contradiction between US demand and US policy, and many there believe the fallout from the drug war is far worse than problems around the drugs. Pictured (top) are Mexican soldiers deploying and (right), some of the decapitations performed by the Cartels (pic by Glenn Beck).

On top of that, US gun dealers are making a fortune selling weapons to the Mexican cartels, also reported in the WSJ. Truly, the beneficiaries of prohibition are a scary bunch. 

Attempts by the Mexicans to decriminalise personal drug use have been blocked by massive pressure from the Bush administration. 

More and more commentators are calling for an end to the War on Drugs, a move which would very quickly starve the cartels of their income. 

Then the problems of drugs could be addressed through regulatory controls along with health and education measures all paid for by taxing the drugs. Californian Senator Tom Ammanio has introduced a Bill along these lines arguing that the money earned and saved by the government would go a long way to address the government's soaring financial  deficit.

Change is indeed in the air. Obama's move on medical marihuana is a small, safe step in the right direction. But meanwhile Mexico is soaked in blood and our own SBS News has started reporting the Mexican carnage but, typical of the Australian media, mentions nothing about the role of prohibition in the problem.

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