Wise Move in the Drug Wars… or Desperation By A Failed Nation?
This week the Mexican government decriminalized personal possession of marijuana, cocaine, LSD, methamphetamine and heroin.
I’m no expert, but it seems to me that Mexico has just expanded the demand for product and enriched the drug cartels and local dealers – while doing nothing to stop the gang warfare that has killed over 11,000 people in the last three years alone.
Had the Mexicans also instituted governmental production and distribution of the drugs – much as jurisdictions control and license liquor – the drug wars in Mexico would have ended virtually overnight just as the end of alcohol prohibition in the USA and Canada ended the turf wars of the rum runners in that era.
Why Did The Mexican Government Make This Move?
According to Mexican government officials (as reported here, here and here) one of the primary reasons for decriminalization is to stop corrupt Mexican police officers from using the drug laws to extort money from casual drug users and other little people.
In other words, the Mexican police are so out of control, so corrupt and so autonomous that the government’s only hope of limiting abuse of police power was to change the drug laws. With this admission, all the other supposedly good things about this change (like being able to offer treatment to addicts) become so much window dressing to brighten up an otherwise desperate move by a desperate government.
“Parents will be delighted to learn that their college students now have a legal place to experiment with hard drugs. And it’s just across the border.”
Phoenix Times: Want to Do Drugs? Go to Mexico: Now Small Amounts are Legal!
Drug Tourism… Here We Come! “We gon get high, high, high!”
The Stranger (a famous or infamous counter-culture publication out of Seattle, Washington) discussed the decriminalization and then summed it up with the phrase “In the meantime, have fun vacationing in Mexico.”
This sentiment is echoed on dozens of other blogs to the point where it is obvious that many people in the USA will now consider vacationing in Mexico because recreational drugs will be available. I can’t really empathize with these folks because my drug comes with a Mount Gay label on the bottle. Then again, would I consider a vacation at a “dry” destination? Probably not, so maybe I can understand the potheads to a certain extent.
Mexico’s tourism has been in the dumps for some time due to the recession, out of control crime and the drug wars. There’s nothing like a few severed heads rolling about on a nightclub floor to attract tourists, you know! Or heads left by the side of the road in a cooler. Even the Mexican police are frightened to death.
Will decriminalization stop the drug wars? I don’t think so.
Will decriminalization “save” Mexican tourism? I don’t think so – but it may attract more of a certain type of tourist and “retiring” person to enjoy recreational drugs as Mexico moves even closer to the abyss of being a failed country.