50,000 Dead Mexicans Later, Mexico President Felipe Calderon Says Maybe War on Drugs Not So Awesome

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Poor Mexico: so far from God, so close to the U.S. From The Economist Nov. 23:

"Ending the consumption and the trafficking of illegal drugs is 'impossible', according to Felipe Calderón, Mexico’s outgoing president. In an interview with The Economist Mr Calderón, whose battle with organised crime has come to define his six years in office, said that countries whose citizens consume drugs should find 'market mechanisms' to prevent their money from getting into the hands of criminals in Latin America."

"Clearly the origin of the problem, the biggest source of income for the criminals continues to be the sale of drugs in the United States. Consumption in the United States is behind this problem of violence that we are experiencing in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Ecuador and practically all of the Caribbean. And that has to end. So either the United States and its society, its government and its congress decide to drastically reduce their consumption of drugs, or if they are not going to reduce it they at least have the moral responsibility to reduce the flow of money towards Mexico, which goes into the hands of criminals.

To reduce that flow of money they have the obligation to find ways that allow it to occur. They have to explore even market mechanisms to see if that can allow the flow of money to reduce. If they want to take all the drugs they want, as far as I’m concerned let them take them. I don’t agree with it but it’s their decision, as consumers and as a society. What I do not accept is that they continue passing their money to the hands of killers, who are committing terrible crimes in Mexico and in the whole region."

About a third of cartel revenue is thought to come from selling commercial grade marijuana to non-medical marijuana markets in the Midwest, East, and South U.S. [via Reason]

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