A few minutes ago, I read Gene Robinson's ideas (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/26/AR2009032603115.html) on Clinton's trip to Mexico and the to the border states. Holy bovines, what a wad of money we've spent on the war on drugs to no effect except for cramming a bunch of people in jails and having to create more state and federal jobs for enforcement officers and jailers.
What Robinson's data points out is that the drug business is a classic study in supply and demand economy. Arms dealers in Arizona and New Mexico are making mega-pesos selling pistolas and other machinas de guerra which are then transported into Mexico where seven thousand folks were killed in drug related conflicts in 2008. The United States spent muchas dollores smashing Colombian cartels but now, according to Robinson, cocaine production has shifted to Peru. The drug dealers have an on going R and D division which has produced submarines for smuggling more dope into the US. From another corner of the world , poppies provide income for impoverished farmers while the warlords of Central Asia leverage fear and demand for product into huge profits, sort of like the short selling on Wall Street.
Beyond some millions of folks getting stoned on their drug of choice here in the United States, I think the essential problem of the drug industry is that a good amount of the profits is being channeled to finance terrorists organizations everywhere people want to unseat those in power. The fix to this dilemma is pretty simple, legalize drugs, all of them.
Nuts? I am not nuts. Imagine the profit to American farmers if they could grow quality marijuana with government approval and then, sell to the government who would then sell it to you and me for a profit. Folks we would be living high! The government would get taxes from the profits made by the farmers and profits from the sale of weed. Yep, you got it, profits from weeds. As far as cocaine and heroin go, we can support our trade agreements with NAFTA and new agreements with Colombia by buying pure cocaine from the Central and South American cartels and pure heroin from the warlords of Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Once shipped here by FedEX of UPS, on no bid contracts awarded by Congress, we could cut it to an acceptable level and sell it. Imagine the profits. And it is a growth industry because we dopers will want more as time goes by. Also the legalization of drugs would be a huge boost to the paraphernalia,t-shirt, and fast food industries. Here at home the waste from the marijuana could be sold to the ethanol market or used for pulp to make paper or cloth. I am telling you that I am ON to something.
What I know I am onto is that legalizing drugs would also be a whole mess cheaper than keeping people in prisons, building walls along our borders, and training a battalion of border guards. What I also know is that it would be a lot less hypocritical, too.