Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Will This Infographic Convince You That The Drug War Is A Catastrophic Failure?

Borderland Beat

This post consists of two article about the drug war, one presents facts, the other ways to end the war.  The first is "4 Ways to End the Drug War, offered by Global Post and the second found in Business Insider is a presentation from Rehabs.Com.  Also interesting is the fact check link, which is loaded with links. This is a discussion that must take place, Please share your thoughts.

Four Ways to End the Drug War

US Secretary of State John Kerry this week has come under pressure to end Washington’s “war on drugs” at the Organization of American States meeting in Guatemala City.
President Barack Obama’s administration has so far sent the message to the rest of the Americas that discussing drug law reform is good and healthy, but the US federal prohibition on drugs won’t budge.

Here GlobalPost looks at four ideas fueling the reinvigorated drug policy debate that's swept Latin America.


This alternative, considered in the OAS’s 111 page report  on drug policy, is the big one. The report looks at several existing models, including Holland’s cannabis cafes and Spain’s marijuana social clubs. Decriminalization light already exists in many countries in Latin America, where law enforcement turns a blind eye to possession of small quantities of marijuana and, sometimes, even other, harder drugs for personal use.
Washington might be able to countenance this. But a heavier version, in which cultivation or commercialization are also permitted — or at least not penalized — could be a bridge too far for the Obama administration in the face of Republican intransigence. Fully decriminalizing harder drugs, such as cocaine or heroin, is off the table in the United States, and has yet to gather momentum as a policy proposal in Latin America.
Costing the status quo
As it advocates alternatives to prohibition, the report by the OAS, a regional group based in Washington, DC, which relies on the US government as its top funder, highlights the huge costs of current policies. They include “mass incarceration,” the “profitable circumvention” of drug laws — diplomatic speak for the billions of dollars earned by some of the world’s nastiest criminals — and “human rights abuses.”

These abuses frequently include those committed by the police and, above all, the armed forces in countries such as Mexico — where more than 60,000 people died in the drug war from 2006 to 2012 — and Honduras, where the cartels outgun the police, and desperate governments have sent in the troops. Human Rights Watch has repeatedly criticized Mexico on this issue.
Negotiated eradication
Despite his staunch defense of Bolivia’s coca crops — the key ingredient in cocaine, but also chewed or brewed into tea for a mild high — President Evo Morales has actually had more recent success in reducing the Andean country’s cocaine production than US allies Peru and Colombia. The secret is Bolivia’s policy of “negotiated eradication” of coca fields.
 That involves the government actually talking with the coca growers, usually impoverished peasants with little or no economic alternatives, and supporting them to develop new cash crops such as cacao or coffee. It contrasts with “forced eradication,” promoted by the United States, which tasks police or soldiers with destroying crops without the owners’ approval. Predictably, once law enforcement has left the remote Andean foothills where coca is grown, the peasants frequently just replant their fields with the raw ingredient for cocaine.
Government pot dealing
This is the plan in Uruguay. The South American country is not just legalizing cannabis but will even create a state monopoly on the supply of the soft drug. The proposal is the response of left-wing President Jose Mujica to the country’s growing crack and heroin problems.
Explicitly rejecting the “stepping stone” argument that marijuana use automatically leads to harder drugs, Mujica is deliberately trying to break the biggest single link between the two — the fact that both are illegal and often sold by the same peddlers — by bringing weed users out of the shadows of illegality, while also acknowledging that, unlike heroin or crack addicts, pot-heads are more likely to doze off on the sofa while watching TV than rob or steal to fund their habit.

Does This Infographic  Convince You The Drug War Is A Catastrophic Failure?

The U.S. war on drugs, which began in 1971, has been an utter disaster and is ultimately unwinnable

In the last decade alone, cartels have conquered Mexico and infiltrated so deeply into the U.S. that in February Sinaloa kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman was named Chicago's first Public Enemy No.1 since Al Capone.
America's draconian drug laws — outside of Colorado and Washington — have actually catalyzed an epidemic of prescription drug abuse in addition to a dangerous spike in the use of meth and fake weed.

Looking at the numbers,, it's almost as if we intentionally brought these problems upon ourselves. put together a fantastic interactive infographic called "Drug Bless America" that sheds light on the economic and social impact  of the influx of heroine, cocaine, guns, and prisoners.  (Click on infographic then click  'Dig into the problem then scroll)
continues on next page.................




  1. Where are the people that say USA is the perfect place to live?? Keeping immigrants out of the US won't help keep the drugs out either.. drugs bless America!!!

    1. Most of us here in america know the war on drugs is a total failure and want it to end.we try and vote for politicians who want to stop it but it doesnt seem to do any talks i guess and the avg citizen here dont got it like that but at the same time if the u.s is so bad as some of the ppl on here say we are then why would an immigrant even want to come here? I fucking hate crackheads,methheads etc.. but declaring war on it will never stop it as long as they are out there

  2. As long as the violence stays in mexico everything is fine.

    1. Fuken ignorant statement i swear were all human mexican white black etc. dumbass no one deserves to die the way they do here in mexico especially the innocent fuck you "ass long as the violence stays in mexico everything is fine" idiot.

    2. U must not live in USA cuz the crack gang wars of the eighties left alot of people dead. Los Angeles ,Miami and now Chicago. O Yea what about we take it back and talk about the mob Al Cappone ,just waged a war on cops,hundreds dead,nothing big. GOOD OL' USA lets sweep it under the rug.

    3. Your a fukin moron and a sheep.

  3. If you do not think that the war on drugs is a waste of taxpayers money then look at the number of people who are using Legal items (Paint, paint thinner, gasoline, markers, contact cement, any petroleum based glue, prescriptions, tobacco (cigarettes, chewing tobacco, pipe tobacco) alcohol (Beer, wine, hard liquor, champagne, even rubbing alcohol "Just ask Kitty Dukakis about this one!") just to achieve some sort of high. I am sure that you can list many more other items but just think about the cost of trying to make sure all of these items are not abused. It is impossible to do so, so the best thing would be to regulate the supply and allow the users to decide which poison serves them better as they attend some sort of health clinic for information which can show them how they can break their own cycle of dependence. Because as any therapist will tell you unless a user wants to quit you will not make him/her quit without some form of physical barrier. But as soon as that barrier is gone then their old habits will come back to haunt the user. So governments will never eliminate an addicts desire to get high all they can do is provide honest information to the users and show them options so that when the user wants to quit he can do so on his/her terms. This way the addict has a higher chance of success!

  4. It doesn´t convince me because I was beyond convinced already, also I don´t think mere decriminalization of consumption is enough for any drug, I´m for full legalization of all drugs, legalization implying regulation and controls in how and where are they sold and how are they imported/produced, not just a free for all buy heroin at walmart thing. It´s not like those drugs are hard to find now, already whoever wants to use any drug can and will do it, so in that sense things wouldn´t change much, but at least their quality could be guaranteed avoiding plenty of deaths and health issues among addicts, minors would have more trouble accessing them, lower cost would lower crimes committed by addicts and between the revenues from this new legal market and money saved from not needing to keep enforcing prohibition more education, support and rehab programs could be put in place...not to mention the humongous human cost of this war in México and other countries.

  5. I don't think chapo is public enemy 1 that honor belongs to 40

    1. 40 is psychopath#1 but chapo getting bigger quantities of dope here is probably why they named him that.neither one makes a dime off of me

  6. It all went fuked up wen fox let chapo out plain and simple!!!!!!!

  7. Let the beast out and couldn't control it started to betray all his friends got mochomo locked up .....plazas wer well controled wen arturo was alive maid alinces les war and working together less heat.....chapo got gready tring to get tj, juarez, tamaulipas, and other fukin places gready fuk....fuked it all up now government got mo control!!!!!!!

  8. Count me out of your drug crazed utopia. You have no idea what people are capable of doing while intoxicated. Good taste prevents me from repeating the depths of depravity i could convey from the files of the
    Texas Department of Criminal Justice. To be specific it's not sober individuals who are committing 86 percent of crimes against humanity.

    1. 2:30pm. I agree with the point,"You have no idea what people are capable of doing while "F...ed" up. In the 30+ years I've been a Dr.and working with addicts since 1973, I have seen things that never should be done to a human being by addicts and/or drug dealers. When I meet with others at the UN yearly, I always point out the many Asian countries who have gotten it under control and thank them for showing us what to do in the US. BUT, EVERY YEAR THE US DOES NADA. There are answers to this global dilemma. We just need to suck it up and do it. I love my job but pray someday I can go back to helping children who desperately need food,water,medication and not have 25k dying a day for lack of food and water. God bless the children who are most effected by the war on drugs. Peace,Texas Grandma. And,thanks for the needed info BB!

  9. jeez it is so stupid that anyone is pointing the finger at anyone, the reason why the us has the highest number of users is because when compared to mexico yes, because we have more people here hence the ratio here is higher, if you only blame the user then dont wave the carrot in front of the donkey, most of all these drugs have medicinal uses in their own right, cocaine is good for a local anesthetic, heroin/opium is the yardstick of which all painkills are measured, indica and sativa strains of cannabis have soo many uses, it is almost difficult to quantify, for instance: women with hyperemesis while pregnant cannot eat, have massive migraines and, cannot stop their nausea, lose fluids and look and feel like they are dying, cannabis can and does help, it's just human nature to like to do something that feels good to excess, we are hedonistic to a fault, no one sets out to become an addict, it just happens. it is human.

    although I do not know of any benevolent use for methamphetamines in any capacity,thats probably the main reason we see all these dismemberments, that shit makes people insane when mixed with a faith of a whacked out death cult. you people in mexico never admit that a good number of the people that bring in the drugs also use them too, the couriers as well and the people in the safe houses whom they are brought to. people just like to get high, some of those people like to get too fucked up and some just cant deal with not getting high all day everyday. alot of people that are poor usually succumb because they don't have the money to separate themselves from their enviornment when their drug use gets the better of them. hell, guns are made to kill and maime people but people loose their shit when their ninjo shoots himself or someone else
    if something needs to be done don't start complaining if you sometimes have to do more effort than the people you are working with to deal with a common problem

    1. Well said like a true American junkie...America is a nation of drug addicts.

  10. Obama is a ideologist, he wont budge on anything. Its his communist ways or the highways.

  11. @ 2:30 Well where are these people getting drugs to not be sober...or is the alcohol causing people to commit crimes against humanity? Surely after all these years and trillions of dollars warring against drugs it is not possible for just anyone to get drugs, is it? Fact is the people in charge have been trying to ban one substance or another since the 1800's. You know what every single one has in common with the next? They all failed. From tobacco to alcohol to heroin, every time someone has tried to ban a substance that alters a humans feelings, and has the label of addicting, there has and will always be someone to sell it on the black market and make enormous profits. I can understand that in the past, with no internet, that our lawmakers have had a hard time researching this and passing laws that are destined to be failures. Now with such easy access to the internet and laws like these that have been attempted in the past and well documented, there is no excuse for such actions by our lawmakers to strive to repeat history.

  12. convey, convey.. somehow i think the texas heat coupled with hard drugs equalls a really shitty enviorment, you spend half the time sweating the shit out before you can enjoy it, who fuckin likes getting drunk during the middle of the day while you are outside working in the big asshole in the sky called our sun?? fuckin nasty headache

  13. It's a hard call any which way u look @ it. We need 2 go further down the line & look @ society
    as a whole.why r so many people using drugs?? Why is the super power of the world the #-1 consumer of drugs?? What is that saying about our country?? We need 2 go beyond the drug user, rehab center etc... according 2 news reports people r abusing & getting addicted 2 prescription meds. Again, what is causing the very origins - r people not making enough money -so their stressed - people self medicating because of some sort of abuse as a child /adult & never got the proper help?? I think society is failing, families r either torn apart or dysfunctional etc... etc..the American way is failing. I've come 2 think both countries r somehow benefiting from all these addicts, pushers & narcos. Problem is -it has become gargantuan & out of control. Both countries shall suffer the consequenses & aftermath. Bible is right on "money is the root of all evil " +

  14. Legalize all illegal drugs. Regulate and tax them. Pay off the debt, balance the budget, put it in education, etc. I personally have never used illegal drugs. Never had the need or desire to use them. I might drink a beer or 2 and won't drink again for months. Have never smoked. I do believe some people use drugs and can control their habit. Then again l think some people are weak and allow drugs to control them. To many innocents by the illegal drug prohibitions. This grand drug war has failed.

  15. WHY IS URAGUAY SMARTER THAN EVERYWHERE ELSE. This argument about the gateway is a fraud. When pot is outlawed, only outlaws sell pot. Decriminalize it or legalize it... either way take it back from the outlaws.

    from the article, "Government pot dealing

    This is the plan in Uruguay. The South American country is not just legalizing cannabis but will even create a state monopoly on the supply of the soft drug. The proposal is the response of left-wing President Jose Mujica to the country’s growing crack and heroin problems.

    Explicitly rejecting the “stepping stone” argument that marijuana use automatically leads to harder drugs, Mujica is deliberately trying to break the biggest single link between the two — the fact that both are illegal and often sold by the same peddlers — by bringing weed users out of the shadows of illegality, while also acknowledging that, unlike heroin or crack addicts, pot-heads are more likely to doze off on the sofa while watching TV than rob or steal to fund their habit."

  16. Never give up! It's a worthy war. Heck the war creates jobs. Cemeteries are busy, hospitals are busy, police are busy, hell is busy, etc.

  17. Its not a war on drugs. Its a war on us.

  18. Its a free country,U.S. citizen can do what he bloody well wants...dont blame the Government.

  19. China has a zero-tolerance policy on drugs. They just shoot people in the back of the head with a rifle. Yea it is a bit inhumane but a great deterrent.

  20. why do people use drugs? because they feel good, we are only a few decimal points to the left of chimpanzee dna, just think of how we will be in the next few thousand years. we force our children into the world without fathers, without families, and without support, yet we point our finger at them if they make mistakes? now that is some grade a logic. when you force feed a human junk on every level, well drugs actually have an effect or produce a physical feel. people use drugs because they work...

  21. its the greed n love of the money!!! That's what's the root of all evil. U can't blame the money its just a piece of paper. The system is what's fucked

  22. chivis shame on you. This is a totally lopsided one sided report. I am reminded of the atheists and the evolutionists who cling to their beliefs as their religion of choice. Studies cost tax payer dollars so finding the most recent report that shows the true cost of allowing the use of "drugs" may be difficult but even the one i did find tells a much more realistic view of how bad it can become. just one clip and a link to full report. i challenge you to find the most up to date version and print it main page as an opposing view to legalization.
    "A third of the parents in state prison reported
    committing their current offense while under the
    influence of drugs. Parents were most likely to
    report the influence of cocaine-based drugs (16%)
    and marijuana (15%) while committing their crime.
    About equal percentages of parents in state
    prison reported the use of opiates (6%) and stimulat
    es (5%) at the time of their offense, while 2%
    used depressants or hallucinogens.
    Thirty-two percent of mothers in state prison
    reported committing their crime to get drugs or
    money for drugs, compared to 19% of fathers.
    Source: BJS,
    Incarcerated Parents and Their
    , NCJ 182335, August 2000. "

  23. 11:10: There are two big problems with your response to Chivis' post. First, you cite a government study and government statistics. I'm ancient and spent decades working for the government in a public policy capacity, among other jobs, and I find it very difficult to believe implicitly any statistics produced by government bureaucrats for the purpose of proving the correctness of any policy.

    But my second objection is that you simply point to statistics about criminal or illegal acts that inmates admit they committed while under the influence of drugs. This is a meaningless statistic for several reasons, but I'll mention just two of them. First, given the number of people in prison for non-violent drug offenses, how many of the respondents in the study you mention are in jail because of drug offenses, i.e., simply because the drugs they used or sold are illegal to begin with? Second, a corollary question, how much of the criminal activity would have been avoided in the first place if the drugs these inmates were using were legal in the first place? That is, if they were not compelled by their addiction to rob, steal, prostitute themselves or deal drugs?

    If your statistics had analyzed persons who committed non-drug related crimes (while under the influence) and had not committed those crimes in order to obtain illegal drugs they were addicted to, then the conclusions might be worth noting in response to Chivis' post. Then the statistics could be used as an indicator of criminal activity attributable to the use of drugs, not simply to criminal activity due to the fact that the drugs are illegal.

    Chivis' posted articles make a totally different point: a huge proportion of the prison population in the U.S. is there precisely and only because the drugs they used or sold are illegal, not because the behavior that put them in jail is inherently evil. Another point that the articles make is that people commit crimes in order to feed a habit, which they would not need to do were the drugs legal and available to them under controlled conditions.

    Chivis' articles are not one-sided. They ask very valid questions about the waste inherent in an anti-drug policy driven by ideology, racism and greed (as far as I can see) more than by common sense or any desire for justice. So far, our policies are a waste of money and people, just another "war against ---" that our government uses to maintain control. -- un vato

  24. I'd say it's possible to win the "war on drugs". It's not happening simply because nobody would dare to do what would be necessary to win it. It would be very dangerous to do that and would probably set a lot of precedences that we rather not want to happen.

  25. DD, Forum adminstratorJune 16, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    Chivis. I don't think the problem is convincing people that the war on drugs is a failure. I think that a very large majority of the people (those that even stop to think about it) already believe that.
    This comment will not be popular, but I think bigger problem is that the failure of the war on drugs is immaterial to the US government's broader foreign policy goals . The US has developed a modern day form of imperialism/colonialism that does not seek territorial control, but rather economic control.

    This is an excerpt from The Euroasian Review from April 13, 2013, talking about Plan Columia, but it is applicable to the "war on drugs" in general;
    "It is evident that in the stated objective of eradicating coca cultivation and narcotrafficking in Colombia, the United States’s anti-drug strategy continues to be a resounding failure. From the perspective of the U.S. State Department, however, Plan Colombia was not a failure at all but instead, “allowed for the creation of an effective new model for U.S. intervention.” [37] As the U.S. Government Accountability Office’s director of international affairs and trade put it, “international programs face significant challenges reducing the supply of illegal drugs but support broad U.S. foreign policy objectives.”

    One of the main objectives of US foreign policy is to advance the economic interests of of the US. One of the primary interests it seeks to protect and promote is the military/industrial complex. It is tragic that nearly all of the leaders in the US have not heeded the warning that President Eisenhower gave in his farewell speech to the nation;

    "In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist."

  26. Legalizing drugs is a terrible idea. Despite everyone saying the war against drugs is a failure and will never win. Should we stop prosecuting murderers too because we can't stop everyone there will always be those that kill others, so since we can't stop it lets just legalize jungle justice and let people kill each other as they see fit and not enforce any sort of accountability or justice.

  27. June 16, 2013 at 10:01 PM

    that doesn´t make sense

  28. Drugs are illegal because most people cannot use the drug and hold a job to support their family and habit. Some can but most cannot. Then those who cannot go off and rob steal and kill to support their habit.
    Legalizing will not prevent the violence. Just like legalizing drinking did not make the italian mob go away. They just moved on to the next illegal activity.
    Legalizing the drug will not help those who cannot juggle getting high and taking care of thier responsibilities.
    The war on drugs is failing because we are to soft on those who use and sell them.
    I don't have a solution that I think will work and I havn't heard one from anyone else either.
    Legalize drugs - let the state be the only supplier and also make it to where you can not be on any government support and use drugs at the same time. If this means you starve to death then let it be.

  29. Un vato You will never understand will you?
    " There are two big problems with your response to Chivis' " " that our government uses to maintain control. -- un vato

    I have too many family members dead due to drug abuse. all the theft in the family cause it's hard to say "hey mom can i get a twenty for getting high?". I remember dad losing tools and i did not tell him my brother sold them for his fix. all dead and buried now and in a strange way i can say that this is better because the people they had become under the influence of drugs was not the family i had grown up with. the fighting, yelling, screaming, crying are all over now. my mother quietly weeps at their graveside and remembers the good in them.
    This is what you want vato? not me, and i do not wish this on any good family. Don't get me wrong drugs and druggies will win in the end and our world will not be the better for it. this is the saddest thing of all . for those that want to be able to get their "high on" and for those of us that do not do enough to eliminate this drug culture, may god have mercy on us all.

  30. I see the next big wave of zombie freaks coming on with this newest easy to make drug called Krokodil: The drug that eats junkies
    i dare you to use the search term " Krokodil drug flesh " rotting your skin off down to the bone while you get high . see here is the problem we keep listening to the druggies that say legalize when we should be executing them till we are rid of them .

  31. @10:48AM

    We have much in common, but add a murder trial and watching my brothers killer walk free because no one was brave enough to testify.

    I want to stress I did not author these posts, and there are aspects I can't support but on the other hand we cannot as a society of people dismiss information as a whole, nor should we dismiss solutions without considering solutions or compromise/modification of those solutions.

    What I liked about this presentation is that in the fact check lies information and fact presented by "both sides" of the issue creating more of a balance.

    I have never taken drugs, yet after years of researching the subject I am convinced that legalization of marijuana is something we must do. Cocaine use has dropped dramatically over the past 3 decades, but pot has increased to the point that it represents 60% of illicit drug use in the US.

    60% represents a massive waste of public funds allocated on judicial processes, policing and incarceration. That alone is not a reason to legitimize the drug, but it is a reason to research.

    And what I found is the drug is safe, never has there been an overdose or death from pot. Legalization will provide control and regulation in the same way alcohol is structured.

    A nice lady on forum posted an article about "so you think marijuana doesn't kill", or something similar in title, but the story is a crane operator with MJ in his system resulting in a horrible accident. Well it is not the pot it is the decision of the operator to operate the crane while being under the influence.

    One may be surprised to know how many law makers now support legalization and in 10 years I see the majority of states following the path of Co and Wa. I think next is Ore and Ca.

    From a cartel perspective, if 60% of your product becomes an open legal market I can't see how it will not affect narco trade. I am not sure to what degree, but I can envision a future whereas Mexico legally imports pot to the US. I am not naïve to think the impact will be destructive to cartels, but with respect to the US it will change the economic and operational structure.

    Though I favor pot legalization I do not support legalization of any other illicit drug at this time. I keep an open mind, and look towards Portugal and England among other countries that have implemented a program for addicts. I am not convinced however that what will work in small nations will translate into success in a nation of over 300M.

    As for my friend Vato, he is the EF Hutton of yesteryear, and the smartest guy in the BB room. So when he speaks I listen, though we do not always agree, we have many wonderful private discussions on issues regarding Mexico and the US. He is a rare combination of intelligence, legal background and a caring heart. An atty with a huge caring heart....Paz, Chivis

  32. all my family members started on pot and all of them are dead. started early in their teens and when they were high "stepping stone" they were offered coke. no big deal right? wrong! chivis who has tought you to think that because so many people use pot we should just go ahead and legalize it? way too many druggies here on this forum. that's what the problem must be. not enough people taking an active part in raising their children and keeping them off drugs.

  33. oops....sure did not mean to imply because illicit drug use is 60% pot then it should be legalized. Not at all. Read what I wrote, I said the figure of 60% prompted me, a non-drug user to research.

    As for MJ being a gateway drug, that is highly inaccurate. It is more accurate to say that the overwhelming majority of people that smoke pot NEVER become drug addicts.

    And most likely most people "try" alcohol first, simply by accessibility....

    only 8-12% of pot users go on to be addicted to other drugs. My sense is they would have become dependent on drugs of some sort anyway, albeit alcohol or some other drug.


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