Issues of concern to people who live in the west: property rights, water rights, endangered species, livestock grazing, energy production, wilderness and western agriculture. Plus a few items on western history, western literature and the sport of rodeo... Frank DuBois served as the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003. DuBois is a former legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior, and is the founder of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship.
Sunday, August 07, 2011
Gary Johnson: Hitting the cartels where it hurts
Imagine you are a drug lord in Mexico, making unfathomable profits sending your illegal product to the United States. What is the headline you fear the most? “U.S. to build bigger fence”? “U.S. to send troops to the border”? “U.S. to deploy tanks in El Paso”? No. None of those would give you much pause. They would simply raise the level of difficulty and perhaps cause you to escalate the violence that already has turned the border region into a war zone. But would they stop you or ultimately hurt your bottom line? Probably not. But what if that drug lord opened his newspaper and read this: “U.S. to legalize and regulate marijuana”? That would ruin his day, and ruin it in a way that could not be fixed with more and bigger guns, higher prices or more murder...Border violence, on the other hand, is a prohibition problem. Just as we did for Al Capone and his murderous colleagues 90 years ago, our drug laws have created the battlefield on which tens of thousands are dying. By doggedly hanging onto marijuana laws that make criminals out of our children while our leaders proudly consume wine at state dinners, we have created an illegal marketplace with such mind-boggling profits that no enforcement measures will ever overcome the motivation, resources and determination of the cartels. There are ample reasons why millions of Americans, the Global Commission on Drug Policy and, just recently, former Mexican President Vincente Fox are calling for legalization of marijuana as an alternative to the failed and ridiculously costly “war on drugs.” Will legalizing marijuana put the criminal cartels out of business? No. But it will immediately deny them their largest profit center and dramatically reduce not only the role of the United States in their business plans, but also the motivation for waging war along our southern border...more