Saturday, November 24, 2012

20 Reasons for Legalizing Marihuana

Denise Dresser for Proceso 11-22-2012


 
Translated by un vato for Borderland Beat

MEXICO, D.F. (Proceso). --

1.  As the election in the United States demonstrated, that country is headed towards legalization. Mexico should not keep fighting a war against a drug that is being legalized more and more. As Sergio Aguayo has written, the United States' legalization is "a slap on the face for Felipe Calderon and a lesson for Mexicans."


2.  32% of the population in the United States can now go to a dispensary to obtain marihuana for medical reasons. 11,753,000 inhabitants of Colorado and Washington approved the recreational use of marijuana. Around 50% of the population in the United States is in favor of some form of legalization of marihuana.

3.  As argued in a study by the Mexican Institute for Competitiveness, the possible legalization of the drug at the state level in the United States could result in a significant reduction in income for Mexican drug traffickers.

4.  Among the benefits that legalization could bring would be treating addicts as sick people, not criminals, decreasing the cartels' revenues, decreasing the violence and the number of deaths from the war against drug trafficking.

5.  A report written by Carlos Zamudio Angles and Jorge Hernandez Tinajero shows the almost total lack of results obtained by the Distrito Federal (D.F.) police in their efforts to identify and arrest the individuals who head the gangs selling marihuana at retail.  The police's efforts have focused on catching users and sellers in the act, not as a result of intelligence work. The sellers who are arrested are easily replaced by drug trafficking groups.

6.  The persons arrested for consumption have to be set free because the law does not punish that act, and a survey of more than 300 marihuana users revealed that two out of three had been extorted by the police.  That shows the limitations of a policy focused on combating drug sales by merely closing down retail locations or catching the people who use drugs.

7.  One proposed alternative are the "cannabis clubs" to try to eliminate retail drug sales networks. These organizations would provide a series of real advantages to users. They would generate economic activity for the government through taxes; they would eliminate the need to go to illegal traffickers; they would guarantee quality standards that the illegal market does not provide; they would offer information services to reduce risks and health hazards. 

8.  Legalization would also help the grower, who would see his crops as a legitimate agricultural and business activity. The producer would have direct contact with the user and eliminate the middleman, who currently plays an illegal role.

9.  Despite the war against drug trafficking, illegal consumption of drugs has not stopped, but rather, has increased in recent years. Drugs are now more available to the public than six years ago. In the Federal District (Distrito Federal), there were 5,000 drug retail locations in 2006; today there are 13,000.

10.  Faced with this reality, even Felipe Calderon himself recently joined the leaders of Honduras, Belice, Costa Rica and Guatemala to ask the OEA (Organizacion de Estados Americanos) for a complete analysis of the social, political and health implications that legalization of the use, production and distribution of  marihuana would represent for their countries.
Click image to enlarge
11.  Luis Videgaray, the coordinator for Enrique Pena Nieto's Government Transition team-- on growing legalization in the United States-- said the following: "We're closely following these modifications, which have changed the rules of the game a little with respect to the United States, that I believe will lead us to review joint policies...in the war against drug trafficking and of security in general."

12.  The opposition in Mexico to legalization -- 70% of those surveyed -- is based on the lack of information society has on the subject. Hence the need to discuss and disseminate the advantages and disadvantages that decriminalization would bring.

13.  In every high level bi-national meeting for the past few decades there is talk that there will be a different focus, a different method to address the war against drugs and the violence it engenders, but that's not the way it is. The U.S. strategy -- that Mexico buys and applies -- continues to be the same.

14.  Year after year, the positions remain the same. The United States' pat on the back of whatever president is in place, who is congratulated for his "courage" and "commitment". The usual list of joint actions, of efforts made to limit the supply of drugs in Mexico and limit the consumption in the United States. The expanded list of pilot programs that will be launched, the flow of weapons that will be controlled, the drug addiction studies that will be initiated. History repeats itself, government after government.
Next?

15.  There is a growing United States involvement in Mexico -- in terms of presence, advice, equipment, training and resources-- but we haven't yet seen a substantial shift in the simplistic and counterproductive vision that has predominated for decades.

16.  The time has come to question the vision, the supposedly unmovable premises, from which the war against drug trafficking derives: that the "war" against drugs can be won; that the United States can reduce the demand for drugs, and will attempt it; that the anti-drug policies of the United States should be the anti-drug policies of the rest of Latin America; that legalization could be good, but it will never happen.

17.  The time has come to question ideas engraved in stone, tiresomely repeated by officials on both sides of the border, disseminated by U.S. policy makers and memorized by Mexican politicians.

18.  Every one of the conventional premises in the "war" against drug trafficking can and should be confronted.  Each of the arguments being raised needs to be reviewed. In view of the growing legalization in the United States, the war against drugs -- carried on the way it is today-- is ever more futile. Ever more painful.

19.  Mexico needs to demonstrate its capacity to decide its own fate and make decisions  that strengthen its national security, promote its political stability, build social cohesiveness. Going in that direction would involve viewing limited decriminalization as an instrument -- among others -- able to dismantle a market too powerful to be defeated by any government.

20.  It's time for Mexico to begin a public debate, serious and wide-ranging, over the legalization of marihuana. Enough with dedicating more and more resources, more money, more weapons and more troops in a war that can never be won.  

18 comments:

  1. What is going on? I read this and was reading something Havana had up on criminals in Monterrey killing a bunch of people and it just disappears and here I am back in the land of pot! Who did that? Poor Havana-new novice on the ..Borderland Beat block. I like your story, Vato! But that was weird.

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  2. The "drug war" is a "fools war".

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  3. see trying to stop drug trafficking is jst a excuse to get money for free,to let ppl know who is in charge fucking hypocrites. when they get a drug bust they burn the drugs! why dnt they burn the derty money they get from the busts it dnt make sense.fighting for so long against drug tragfickers and now is ok to legalise.all this is jst a fucking joke

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  4. ZZZZZZZZZzzzzzz.
    there are so many uses for cannabis; industrial,medicinal and of course, recreational, there are no cases of death that have found, proving it is harmful, it is a cancer fighter as well for god sakes, it just shows me that how far behind logic society is in this matter, there shouldnt even need to be a discussion, it should be a closed case.

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  5. 1. Mexico is not only fighting a war on drugs , it's fighting a war on organized crime. The moment you stop the war cartel take ver and they win.

    2. 37% is a steep number. I would love to know Where Denise got that figure.

    3. I seriously doubt that once legal in the states cartel marijuana sales will suffer. There is a huge market for cheap Mexican mj. Some people just want to get high and don't care about the quality.

    4. More addicts will be the result of a nationwide legalization. Who will pay for the treatment of these new addicts? People like me who pay taxes. Cartels will continue to wage war in Mexico.

    5. This is the case in the black market of anything.

    6. People get extorted by police on a normal basis even when not breaking the law. This is not exclusive to mj users.

    7. Face it some people are lazy and just want to pay for their drugs and get high.

    8. I can't buy beer directly from goose island brewing, why would mj be any different? Dealers will continue to sell the untaxed version for a cheaper price.

    9. Denise probably didn't get the memo that Mexico is now also a consumer as opposed to solely a source.

    10. Yes they did meet. And what was the outcome?

    11. Comments like these look good on tv.

    12. It's based on people not wanting their children walking around like zombies.

    13. A different approach to the war on drugs? You can't reason with a person who is addicted or with cartels.

    14. Yes

    15. No nation has been successful in stopping drugs.

    16. In which aspects would the legalization of drugs be "good"?

    17. Ok

    18. Sure

    19. I'm not sure if Denise is aware that some cartels are extorting and kidnapping for profit.

    20. Even if mj was legalized on a national level in Mexico nothing would change. Take something like rice which is legal. Is all of it produced in the USA or is it also imported for a cheaper price?

    Saludos...

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  6. Marihuana yo you need spell check homie but all im a fan of your post un vato peace vato loco

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  7. Un vato thanks for the translation its right on track to fix our broken drug policies

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  8. #4, you can't get addicted to pot, just addicted to the behavior. The US own findings say that to overdose on canabis one would need to ingest 1200 pounds of THC in a 15 min period. There are no withdrawals or DT's, unlike legal alcohol, which can kill you if you go cold turkey. Finally some common sense. Do you think that the pharmasudical companies, who are one of te countries biggest lobbiest, would be ok with you growing a plant in our yard that can do far better than they can do for menstrual cramps, pain, insomnia, depression, autism, side effects from cancer dugs..... Nope, and they will fight ths all the way to save their cash cow. No one has ever died from pot, but its a class 1 schedule and meth, heroin, and coke are a class 2? Explain to me how that makes it a gateway drug. Fact is, kids try it and its not nearly as 'bad' as it has been reported to be, so meth must be less substantial than they say, too. Then they are fucked.

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    1. We need more people like you in our world....the earth would be a peaceful place. I still cant believe how brainwashed they had us with the D.A.R.E. program and its lame "just say no." Of course big pharma dont want us growing an all natural substance that cures the above mentioned symptoms. Schedule 1 for marijuana is the stupidest thing, you telling me meth is less damaging than weed? Pleaasseee people look up the history of why its illegal. It was legal until the last 100 year.

      Our founding fathers grew weed and hemp, hell the first draft of the constitution was written on hemp paper.

      Hemp is also green industry that can be used to build houses, clothing, rope, plastic, fuel, stronger concrete aka "hempcrete. The best thing of all I hemp doesnt need pesticides and doesnt ruin the ground its growing in, you can keep growing in the same spot for years, without harming mother nature.

      Canada already jumped on the hemp revolution, as always, us in the USA are too busy with their stupid facebook, twitter, the kardashians and theit tv to worrying about issues that really matter in our lifetime, what a shame that our people is too stupid to see the govt brainwashing techniques since your a child.

      An informed citizen.

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  9. As usual, the article doesn't address the true problem: the economics of MJ. The fact is the cartels provide jobs and income to a large percentage of the population. If the people had jobs, the cartels wouldn't have their influence AND the war on crime would be a different, winnable game.

    The article also fails to see that Federal and State laws are two different things. STATES legalize MJ, not the FEDS. The FEDS still fight it......so the policy is still consistent.

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  10. These are not 20 reasons. Looks like someone took a story and put 1-20 where they think reasons are. Obvious they're a pot head! Jajaja

    The last two start with mexico needs and its time for mezico blah blah blah.

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  11. I used to smoke it, but seriously, this is not good for America.

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  12. Make it legal. Wont happen ! It isnt legal yet. There may be a couple states that stopped enforcing state laws but it is illegal according to federal law

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  13. Havana's post will return she is working on it..

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  14. used to like this site more but as more and more pot heads make themselves known i like the site less and less.
    i have family that have died as they used marijuana at a very early age and as a stepping stone to the harder drugs that killed them. it left a wake of family members spouses and children to suffer forevermore at the loss of beloved husband, father, brother, son.

    legalizing drugs to get high is not the answer to anything accept a pot smokers "pipe dream" pun intended.

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  15. When the bible mentions the tree of life in the bible, it literally means a weed plant. Jah love man!

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  16. The mantra of decriminalization or legalization has been chanted for years with little attention but the attention seems to be going in the right direction now. Drug war is pointless, and there will always be black markets... it's almost genetic. There are black markets for stolen/hijacked Tide laundry detergent in the USA. The point is, the arguements for continuing or ramping up the drug wars is waining and legalization is progressing. It is all a matter of time. Mexico needs to clean up its values and then its society will clean up and the cartels will have little support and wither to be small time punks easily contained.

    As they say, it's always 420 somewhere.

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  17. In the book "Death of a Guru" Rabi Maharaj, a Protestant convert from Hinduism (I don't endorse Protestantism, a false religion!) testifies about his experience during transcendental meditation (TM) during which he saw lively colors and shapes but also some ugly and terrible creatures which he later on understood were devils. After he came to England he heard some students (who were on hallucinogenic LSD) talking about the same experience he had during TM and he understood there is a link between TM and LSD: they are both connected with those ugly and terrible creatures. And marijuana is also a hallucinogenic drug. Go figure what would its legalization mean for the people and the society.

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