Terry Nelson was a Federal agent for 30 years with the U.S. Border Patrol, the Customs Service and the Department of Homeland Security. Here is what he says about drug prohibition.
Busting top traffickers doesn't work, since others just do battle to replace them. Despite the obvious failure of our drug control strategy, the public discourse surrounding this issue has focused primarily on continuing to wage the "drug war."Probably never. Why? In my estimation they have already been bought off by the cartels.
Mandatory prison sentences and interdiction efforts have very little effect on drug use. This year the World Health Organization found that the U.S. has the highest marijuana and cocaine use rates on the planet, despite having some of the harshest sentences.
We won't be able to expand treatment and prevention efforts until we stop spending so much money enforcing ineffective penalties, building new prisons and buying fancy cars and helicopters for law enforcement agencies. As we begin to treat problematic drug use as a public health issue, it will become much easier to prevent the death, disease and addiction that have expanded under the criminal justice mentality of prohibition.
But even with the best public health efforts, there will always be some who want to use drugs, and, as long as drugs are illegal, many willing to risk imprisonment or death to make huge profits supplying them. My years of experience as a federal agent tell me that legalizing and effectively regulating drugs will stop drug market crime and violence by putting major cartels and gangs out of business.
The Department of Justice reported [this month] that Mexican cartels are America's "greatest organized crime threat" because they "control drug distribution in most U.S. cities." If what we've been doing worked at all, we wouldn't be battling Mexican drug dealers in our own cities or anywhere else. There's one surefire way to bankrupt them, but when will our leaders talk about it?
"The Latin American drug cartels have stretched their tentacles much deeper into our lives than most people believe. It's possible they are calling the shots at all levels of government." - William Colby, former CIA Director, 1995Here is what the Most Corrupt President Elect Ever™ has to say about marijuana legalization:
“President-elect Obama is not in favor of the legalization of marijuana.”End of story. For now.
I think the murder rate from the presence of the Mexican gangs in our cities will have to go a lot higher before even discussion of legalization by our elected officials is on the table. One of the things that will help is a wave of kidnapings that the Mexican gangs are also famous for. Coming soon to a city or town near you. I can hardly wait.
Cross Posted at Classical Values