Friday, March 6, 2015

Who wins? The Dragonslayer or the Dragon?

Borderland Beat posted by DD republished in part from Vox

Sometimes it is difficult for some people to understand the big issues - issues like prohibition and the war on drugs.  The best way to explain it to them is through the use of metaphors.  Maybe a video such as this one involving kings, dragons, and medieval warfare  might help some people (including some nations' leaders) understand the issues at this time when Mexico is taking down Cartel leaders left and right.

The short video was produced by the Global Commission on Drug Policy.

One of the key critiques shown in this video is what's known as the hydra effect. The idea is that, given the huge global demand for illicit drugs, drug producers and traffickers don't just cease to exist when governments go after them. Production and trafficking instead move to other areas, causing the drug trade and the violence that often comes with it to spread.

This effect has occurred again and again throughout the history of the war on drugs. During the 1990s, drug production moved to Colombia from Peru and Bolivia after crackdowns in both of the latter countries. After Mexico and Colombia, with US aid, went after drug traffickers and producers during the 2000s, criminal operations shifted from Colombia to neighboring Ecuador and Venezuela, and from Mexico to Central America's Northern Triangle (El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala). In these cases, production didn't slow for long, if at all. It just went elsewhere.

This trend is often called the balloon effect, because squeezing an inflated balloon just moves the air around, instead of getting rid of it. But it's also occasionally compared to a hydra, like in this video, because cutting off one head just causes a few more heads — or drug traffickers and producers — to sprout.

62 comments:

  1. I don't support the war on drugs but the analogy is simplified by the fact that the Dragon is not shown as being destructive while many drugs are.

    -Mike Haggar

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    1. The drugo was perceived as bad because more and more people were spending more and more time with him and neglecting their work and families. Sounds kind of like at least some of the problems associated with drugs.

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    2. The businesses in U.S. would be against legalizing drugs as well as many citizens. Many have seen the devastating toll of what drug using has taken on the individual as well as families and no silly animated film will change that. Even in the animation, the ones who played with “drugo” neglected their jobs, homes, family etc. Only the ones who want to stay high, keep harping on legalize all drugs. Even having the death of a brother using drugs is also a stupid reason for wanting to legalize drugs.

      Mexico & its lawlessness has created unlivable conditions there and wanting to legalize drugs in other countries would create the same.

      While we’re at it lets legalize murder too, so men like Chapo & Trevino can be released to “boil” more people. The analogy is not far fetched…

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    3. @ dd & Chiv... A suggestion: Work on legalizing drugs in Mexico and fignhting corruption too and leave other countries laws alone.

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    4. Hey Mexico, why don’t you work on legalizing drugs in your own country? You always seem to know what’s best for other countries instead of working on problems within your own country. And that cartoon? Get real...

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    5. Hey Buddy da u.s. is da #1 consumer of drugs Legal or Illegal...y otra cosa some of those pills hav heroin and coka in them Legally Consume W a prescription. "LEGALIZE IT"!!!!!!!

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    6. Legalize it already!!!! Da u.s. already consumes pills with Heroin and Coka in them....

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    7. The prospect of having no employment will drive more people to use drugs in an effort to drown their sorrows.

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    8. 4:10 & 4:14
      The U.S. is working on prosecuting the doctors who consistently and routinely prescribe dangerous drugs.

      But what about Mexico? Same shit, everyday no change, no genuine working & looking out for its citizens. Robbing, extorting, stealing is the norm with no relief.

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  2. If it moved further south of mx to the Central America Northern Triangle, it would probably be better since those countries are smaller they could control them more easily right?? That is with the help from the USA. Just like they have done in other countries? Without the US those places would easily turn into hell, the laws in those places are more outta of date than in mx I believe

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    1. You have a demonic mind set. I hope you are dealt with soon.

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    2. 7:34 Up yours a-hole. You don't know a thing. You think you are better than the rest? wanting something bad on some body you know. Maybe you are the one that needs to go to church SOB!!!

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    3. Something is coming to get you 7:18...

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    4. Some body you don't know that is.

      9:05 You obviously got nothing better to do, go back to your place.

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    5. 7:18 What? Of course I am better than you. We are coming for you.

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  3. This puts the term "chasing the dragon" to a whole new level.

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  4. What kind of bs is this. Everyone knows that governments are the reason for drugs.

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  5. The serpent wins at the end

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    1. You mean the 'serpents' those that are in powerfull places all over the world, each one contributing to the devastation of the planet. Carelessly about the 'horizon' where things might go and end

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  6. I once wrote you can "overdose" eating Whoppers, meaning get diabetes or heart disease. Yet, the only people getting the "shaft" is the employees, low pay and no future. Same with the drug war. The only people not getting the "shaft" is the banks and corrupt politicians, throughout the world. Murder is a crime. Drug addiction and Money addiction are the same. The poor and uneducated being the currency that feed that evil.

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  7. If you think legalizing drugs will make mafia go away, turning everything into sunshine and roses, and tiny little, cute, dragon-pet creatures, you don't know shit about mafia. Ya, of course nonviolent drug addicts should not be sent to prison to be raped and terrorized by the real punk thug scums, but don't sleep on the fact that the scums will just diversify into other crimes if you take away there prime ways to earn. You think you can engineer some kind of utopia by merely legalizing dope so the dopes don't have to get their dope from doper scum? Ha! The 'dragon' isn't just going to forget all the new evil bag of tricks he now can draw from - Cutting off heads, cuotas, extortions, kidnappings... You for sure had one thing right about the hydra effect! Except it's not just gonna go away once you legalize your dope, dopey! The Doctor/Concocter may originally have created monster Dopenstein to be his own private goon squad, but then the monsters revolted against Mr Bossman, and took over operations for themselves (Ya. Thanks a freaking lot for helping create all those damn 'GAFES Deserters', Damn School of the Americas. Idiots!), Just like that future detective from the TV show Law & Order: Special Victims Unit said, back in the 1980s when he was a young ignorant punk - "Gangs... will never die, just multiply..." The only way the mafias will be happy is when they take over and ruin every last good government left on the planet, kill all the good guys, rape their wives, daughters, sisters, mothers... plunder all the world's wealth, force those left alive to work like slaves in exchange for mere scraps... and even then, they still won't be satisfied! Utopia? Hardly. You can't placate thug scums. Kill them all, and let God sort them out! Like it or not, it's the only way. Dead. Stop putting them in prison where they can either escape, or 'protest' against so-called 'unbearable' living conditions. No handcuffs? Really Mr Pena Nieto?

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    1. Can you just see the “long term” problems if U.S. legalized drugs? I can see our courts being flooded with frivolous lawsuits by drug addicts stating their rights have been violated because the boss dismissed them for having found meth in their urine! Businesses are not going to take that crazy shit and will uproot his/her business to another country. In fact many businesses will leave and the U.S. will end up just like the sewer Mexico is. A third world country with no jobs, a doped up population and the likes of an El chapo living in our country, not to mention the additional burden on our medical system.

      All because Mexico’s people have failed to do what they should have done decades ago…work on eradicating corruption within their government (before the cartels bought them out). Now they are crying like hell!

      Once we legalize drugs it will almost be too late to repeal the law as the damage will be done.

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    2. Most of the comments so far seem to see the issue at one extreme or the other; total legalization or total prohibition of drugs.
      Prohibition has not worked in the almost 100 years it has been imposed. Hundreds of Billions of dollars have been spent trying to enforce it and there are more drugs and drug users than ever.
      Legalizing all drugs with no controls is not being advocated by any serious thinkers.
      But there are a myriad of approaches to the drug problem that lay between those 2 extremes.

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    3. Just out of interest, how would you define societies' attitude towards using narcotics, say, back in the "Victorian" era (ie. late C19th - early C20th), with respect to these two extremes you point out here? Bearing in mind the Bush family made a fortune from opium trafficking I would say this is certainly not a recent phenomenon, also bear in mind a sizeable number of illegal narcotics do have legitimate medical uses. There will always be production and selling of drugs / medicines somewhere and the governments will naturally always wish to control and profit from them. Just saying.

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    4. 12:36 Thinking of long term consequences as a result of legalizing drugs is not an “extreme view” and should be placed on the table for discussion.

      People seldom think (including Mexico) of the future ramifications of their ideas & solutions and they really should.

      In the above fairyland cartoon, the ending is simply explained away as everything turned out well. Nothing about how it will affect an economy long term (families, security, police, judicial system, schools, hospitals etc.). All this and more should be thought about and hashed out before making such an important decision to legalize drugs.

      The primary comments we hear from Mexico is similar to the “drugo” video above… no explanations or sound reasoning to justify such an action…that simply by legalizing drugs all will be well with the world.

      At least the posters who are against it were thinking of long term consequences which when thought thru could happen. And I am certain the U.S. and other countries lawmakers will be thinking the same thing.

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    5. I am a social worker in the US and I see the direct problems drugs has caused many of our citizens, and many are not the poor downtrodden either, but middle and upper class too. Drug use has destroyed whole families and is continuing to do so. The parents in the grip of drug addiction usually neglect their children and the state has to end up supporting the kids, which is a direct burden upon the taxpayer. Throw in the psychosocial aspects and now we have a super problem. More foster homes have to be created; more psychiatrist for parents & children (all at taxpayer’s expense) is only part of the burden.

      Bottom line we want these people off drugs completely so they can raise their children responsibly. I must say I can only imagine a worse scenario if we legalize drugs.

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    6. There are some good comments here that I, myself never thought of. Besides economics, the topics of sociology, science, history as well as environmental impact should be included. Legalizing drugs I think will have a direct impact on all these subjects.

      This subject brought to mind the addiction of smoking. Back in the 1920-50’s citizens believed the ads the tobacco company brain washed them with and puffed away. When certain agencies such as the Heart Association & others started speaking against the rhetoric the tobacco companies put out it was almost too late because the tobacco companies lobbied our crooked politicians keeping tobacco businesses strong in the U.S.

      Now in 2015 the U.S. has solid & compelling evidence & decades of history showing the evils of tobacco. But the end result is that we now have millions of people with smoking related diseases which places a huge burden upon the country, plus the tobacco companies are still in operation within the U.S. (but not as powerful as in the past). Plus many stupid smokers feel it is their right to pollute the air we all have to breathe as well as their lungs (that is until they get a wake-up call unable to breathe).

      Maybe legalizing drugs will be the same, harming ourselves before we can stop this madness...

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    7. DD@12:36 Since you posted this article, then you must have some suggestions to the “middle ground” you speak about. Please let us readers know of your suggestions.

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    8. More like numerous suggestions (myriad).

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  8. They both win, Cartels smuggle n get rich n provide job/work for Gov/Authorities. Its a whole revolving cycle thatll never end.

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    1. Thank you :) someone who understands

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    2. Or someone who does not understand the long term consequences, without thinking things through.

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  9. End the drug war, end capitalism, gift economy, read Peter kroptkin

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  10. Cute a cartoon to downplay the seriousness of drugs. It is true prohibition is not working, but legalization won't either. That will still cause cartels to fight over who gets a specific area. Also if a country like the US did a complete legalization, that is like an invitation for cartels to start their crap all over the US. The main problem is Mexico has had and still have corrupt government officials allowing progression. Also if cartels continue attacking rehab centers, of course there will be a need since there won't be a treatment center. I say leave it as it is. Mexico needs to clean up its yard of corruption. ,It is no secret other countries are not going to submit to the cartels as they have. Funny how it is a global fault Mexico has gotten where it is. Legalizing drugs will not solve the problem. Who would truly oversee it? The cartels? yeah right. As far as people who are asked to try drugs, just say no. It is that simple. If I order a hamburger without mustard that is what I want. If the person at the counter says it is good and great, my advice is then he should eat it. It is easy to say no in the beginning if you really don't want something.

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    1. Mexico should fight for legalizing drugs in Mexico. That ‘s as appropriate as someone from Mexico telling other countries to legalize…Oh, but wait…Mexico would then have to release many of their murderous, thieving prisoners…Sorry, I did not think that one thru (sarcasm)…

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    2. And one more thing, we don't want Mexico's slimey criminals working in the open within the U.S. I am talking about hard core criminals like Trevinos etc.

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    3. @ 9:10 And if the Mexicans keep attacking their rehab centers, they will all eventually shut down. If U.S. were to legalize drugs the border would be more porous than it currently is. And where do you think the drug addicts are going to go to? Across the border seeking help at the U.S. rehab centers. This alone could easily overwhelm the U.S. system. We are already overwhelmed & overworked trying to get our own citizens off drugs.

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    4. Take a lesson from Portugal, I am a US citizen, and no I don't use drugs but I am all for legalization across the board, our own Government along with CIA, etc., etc., are making Billions, CoCA and Poppies are plants, I can't speak the same for Meth, but who is anyone to tell anyone what to put in their own God Given bodies rather good or bad.

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    5. 11:59
      Oh get a damn grip! Rules & organizations for peoples have been given since the beginning of human history and they are not going to stop!

      What works for one country may not work for another and since you did not explain what is actually working, then you need to stop trying to muddy the waters.

      So you want legalization of drugs…Many don’t!

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    6. Well go right ahead 11:59 and put anything u want in your ole body, but don't pretend 2 speak 4 many of us in the U.S. If ever such a law comes up we will be sure to let our congressperson n senate know we don't want this crap or messy people in our back yard.

      For the ones who toke, keep toking but grow your own shit where we have less and less dependency on these people. There partial problem solved.

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  11. So Mexico wants entire countries to legalize “illegal substances” drugs we KNOW to be harmful to the body & mind; with whole societies eventually participating in crime just like the peoples of Mexico? And all because Mexico thinks this will stop the killings in their country?

    What about Mexicans fighting to legalize drugs in Mexico? You all should start there first…And let the world see the results, then maybe other countries will follow suit.

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  12. Im sorry. What scientific study said that legalizing drugs would lead to more criminality? Meanwhile there are thousands of scientific papers expousing the benefits of marijuana and hallucinagens

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    1. Thank you, absolutely right.

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  13. @ 7:34 To whom are you speaking to?

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  14. 7:34
    Read and get your facts straight and you also have a bad understanding of situations. To date, apart from “YOU” no one has mentioned anything about a “scientific study.” If you don’t fully understand what is going on then read other articles on this site, then you can ask non-misleading questions.

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  15. DD We are still awaiting your response:

    1. Give us your view of what would be the “middle view” for legalizing drugs.

    2. Why does Mexico want other countries to legalize drugs, but not Mexico first?

    3. Sound & compelling reasons for even wanting to legalize drugs (& please no juvenile answers such as my brother died & couldn’t get off drugs etc.) “Sound & Compelling” justifications please.

    4. Same as question #2 Why suggest legalization for other countries but not Mexico first?

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    1. Very good one. But the problem down there is the LACK of GOVERNING, LACK of Justice, and of course the Corruption. If there system was something like the USA then it would probably work out very well for them. Since they got drug cartels every where

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    2. True, their system is not like the USA but Mexico still had a chance to make corrections before the cartels purchased their leaders 8-10 years ago. Unstoppable greed led the governmental leaders to work hand in hand with the cartels. Now the situation has changed and flip-flopped with the cartels now controlling the leaders. Before the cartels got into the hip pockets of the so-called leaders you did not hear of the types of murders that are now occurring.

      In addition, security has totally spiraled out of control because now many of the average citizens are participating with the cartels too.
      Example: Imagine an entire town of citizens blocking the road, not from the cartels but from the law who has come to arrest the cartels! This is all because the cartels are providing the citizens some lowly jobs. In other words, because the cartels are providing them jobs the citizens are more than willing to participate in criminality! And this is just one example I have given. The situations going on in Mexico 2015 is almost unbelievable.

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  16. 6:22 Put down the PIPE!! Come back after you sleep it off and try to make sense next time!!

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  17. 7:34 in practice, the theory does not work and practice does not support the theory...
    --Only rich peple have money for the licenses to sell legal drugs, and only rich people can pay for the extravagantly priced "metro" brands...
    --gente comun y corriente, will stick to illegal cheap weed and to being prosecuted and persecuted like dogs by the guardians of the law and order...
    --Legalization is but another pipe dream of horny quinceaneras, and never the dream of real mariguanos, never the idea behind being a mariguano...

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  18. Ask anyone you know if they mind living near or working near drug users & sellers then get ready for a fight. Shit, even users & sellers don’t want to be near each other. Many of Mexico’s citizens feel the same, yet others in Mexico want other countries (not themselves) to legalize drugs? What kind of thinking is that? I mean it’s not even rational thinking.

    Is this a case of the pot calling the kettle black?

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  19. I don’t believe the so called drug war is working as well as it could but given the option of living with drug users & dealers then give me the drug wars anyday! If U.S. legalized drugs it would not be safe to sleep in our homes or go to work without some druggie breaking in and stealing. In fact it is a little like that now, but will be total chaos if we give users and dealers free reign.

    Mexico should stop being so ignorant with their naïve suggestions (naïve as opposed to foolish or stupid) and think of possible solutions & repercussions on both sides of the border (not just themselves).

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  20. Legalizing drugs in other countries would primarily benefit Mexico as they would now be free to export tons & tons of drugs with “no restraints.” Plus many of their criminals would be free to flood the U.S. placing many U.S lives in danger. And just like the cartels are fighting for territory in Mexico, they would stream into the U.S. and start fighting for territory there also…and why not since the U.S. foolishly has legalized drugs. In effect, using the legal law against Americans. I can think of several more consequences if drugs were legalized, but I will let others give their opinions.

    In fact I see DD has not responded to any of the questions asked of him. I can only surmise Mexico really has no solid or quality ideas on how to remedy their murder problems (except by shifting it to other countries).

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  21. Just because many people want drugs legalized does not mean that is the best solution. Humans throughout history have done things against themselves that does not benefit them one bit. As someone stated above, look at all the cigarette smokers who have created a huge burden in USA. Every last one of them that are on oxygen & unable to catch their breath “ALL” say they wished they had never smoked. So sometimes, humans are unwilling or too stubborn to see a problem or correct their mistakes until it is much too late. Same with a lot of hard core alcoholics.

    I know that Marijuana seems to be helping cancer patients having a hard time keeping nutrients in their bodies, but that is the only reason (I believe) to smoke weed and I am a bit ambiguous about that. I simply don’t believe our lungs were designed to inhale smoke period. And other drugs such as meth, heroin, morphine etc forget it. There is too much medical evidence against them to even consider legalizing (and should only be administered under rare circumstances such as a very serious medical condition).

    Sometimes I too get angry & disgusted at our current drug users who have neglected their children, jobs, families and everything else, but in the end I feel the same as the above social worker: I want all addicts clean and off drugs entirely. Wishful thinking I know, but giving them unrestricted access to unlimited amounts of drugs is like totally giving up and the burden it will place on America will contribute to its downfall. And whether you consume or not, no one has the right to contribute to its countries downfall. A country will act (and rightfully so) to protect itself.

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  22. Nobody should have a say into what is put in our God given Bodies, good or bad, legalize USA now and take a lesson from Portugal, regulate, and for the love teach your children right, for those I. CYFD, mandatory fixation in order not to have children if playing with frog as, es todo.

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    1. 4:11 Apparently you did not understand the comments at 1:17 so I will try to break it down further to enable your brain to hopefully comprehend. From the time we are born until our death, people TELL others what to put in their bodies as well as mind. The doctor asks if you smoke or drink and will often TELL you to stop. If you are over weight, he will send you to a dietician class where they will TELL you what foods to eat. The dentist will TELL you to stop eating sweets and brush after every meal; mother & father will TELL you to eat your veggies and so on…Try TELLing all of them no one has the right to blah, blah blah…and they will throw you out of the office/home and ask you not to return where your stubborn hardheaded ass will die lickety split. Even at Mount Sinai some of the peoples told Moses “you can’t TELL us what to do” where they also died lickety split. So you see this “TELLing of things, rules & regulations” has been going on since the beginning of human history and it is never going to end. And if you don’t understand by this time…well you never will.

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    2. 2:44 Ha Ha, yes a very good explanation. This is also how nations have progressed and left the so called “dark ages” behind. For the stubborn one @ 4:11 with their kind of thinking will always be left behind or die because they drag a nation down. But it is human beings willingness to seek a higher level of existence or development that determines if a country will move forward or not, which is why when taking a closer view of Mexico and its systems of things, they appear backwards. There has truly been many burdens placed upon their shoulders (most of it of their own doing) and now they can’t seem to be able to think clearly or reason out a situation. The few who do come up with great ideas don’t act upon them.

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  23. Okay. Several of you have asked for my views on legalization of drugs since I was the one who posted the story with the dragon.

    But first I want to clear up a few misconceptions.

    My viewpoint expressed here are not the views of Borderland Beat.

    When a BB reporter posts a story it does not necessarily mean that the reporter agrees or disagrees with the views expressed in the story. The story is generally selected because the reporter thinks it might be of interest to the readers or it might stimulate some discussion/thinking among the readers about a particular problem.

    I have posted many stories that I don't agree with the views reflected in the story.

    I don't know where all the comments came from about Mexico trying to tell other countries to legalize drugs. Pena Nieto has said repeatedly that Mexico opposes legalization. The video in this story was not produced in Mexico, a view 180 degrees opposite EPNs. The video was produced by the Global Commission on Drug Policy.

    A few comments seemed to imply since I hadn't responded to your questions Mexico didn't have any solutions. I am not Mexican. I am US citizen living in Mexico. I do not speak for the Mexican government. In fact I may have been the harshest outspoken critic of the Mexican government of any of the BB reporters. Now that we have those issues cleared up I will try to answer your questions.

    (my answer was too long to be accepted in the comment section. If you want to see the entire answer go to the Forum Page by clicking on the link at the bottom of the box on top right side of the page,).
    .

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  24. DD: Here is your viewpoint: “Basically that Prohibition does not work and as a broad policy should be abandoned.”

    QUESTION: Prohibition against drugs? If drugs which are you referring to?? Clarify please.

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  25. I am so disappointed in the amazing amount of ignorance by the people commenting on this post. You're all so stupid and judgemental and have selective hearing. The video suggests the government regulates drugs and tries to treat drug addicts rather than incarcerating them, which has been shown not to reduce drug use. Sigh. How could the people seeing the horrors of the drug war first hand be so ignorant of the policy issues surrounding things.

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  26. DD: Still awaiting your answer, Thanks

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    1. @1:05. On March 9, I tried to answer all of your questions in the answer that was too long to put in the comments here and invited anyone who was interested to read my response on the Forum. The link to that is http://borderland-beat-forum.924382.n3.nabble.com/DD-response-to-comments-on-main-page-to-story-Who-wins-The-Dragonslayer-or-the-Dragon-tp4082035.html
      If you are the same person who posted at 1:27 on March 12 and said my viewpoint is "Basically that Prohibition does not work and as a broad policy should be abandoned.” that is a gross oversimplification of my viewpoint.
      It is accurate as far as it goes, but if you read my response on Forum you would know that I talked about regulation, treatment, rehabilitation, education, and treating drug addiction as a health issue rather than a criminal issue.
      Is the use of pot less that it was 50 years ago when the current war on drugs was launched by Nixon?
      How about heroin?, cocaine? meth? crack? Do you think prohibition is working?
      The purpose of the video and story was to try to get more people to be open minded on the drug issue and lessen the polarization between prohibition views and legalization, bringing together the best minds available to find solutions. If you still do not understand my views, go to the website that produced the dragon video and read what they have to say. My views parallel theirs in most cases.

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