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on the border line between the US and Mexico

Sunday, February 4, 2018

A Global Argument for Drug Legalization

Posted by Yaqui for Borderland Beat from: Debate

"The World Drug PERCEPTION Problem: Countering Prejudices About People Who Use Drugs"

By: Mario Vargas Llosa
Feb 2, 2018
To read the full report use this hyperlink

The Global Drug Policy Commission, chaired by the former Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso and which now has as director Ruth Dreifuss, former president of Switzerland, is made up of politicians, international officials, scientists and intellectuals from various countries of the world and has carried out since 2011 a valuable campaign in favor of a more sensible and realistic policy in the domain of drug trafficking and the consumption of narcotics than that of mere police and judicial repression.

In the seven reports the Commission has published since it was created, based on rigorous statistics and sociological and clinical research, they have unequivocally shown the futility of combating the scourge of drug use with prohibitions and persecutions, despite the billions of dollars spent on it.

Instead of reducing the consumption of drugs in the world, drug use has increased dramatically, as well as the criminal violence associated with their illegal production and distribution. Worldwide, but mainly in Latin America, drug trafficking mafias are a plague that cause tens of thousands of deaths and are, above all, a source of corruption that break down institutions, infect political life, degrade democracies and promote dictatorships, where, for example in Venezuela, a good number of civilian and military leaders of the regime are accused of directing drug trafficking.

At first, the work of the Commission was concentrated in Latin America but now it has spread to the whole world. The last report, which I have just read, is dedicated to combating, with persuasive arguments, the general negative and criminal perception that governments promote of all drug users.

Nearly without exception, drug users are presented as human waste, prone to crime due to their addiction and , therefore, living threats to the order and security of societies. Those who have prepared this work have done a careful research from which they draw very different conclusions.

To begin, the reasons for which "psychoactive substances" are consumed are very diverse; and in a great number of cases, perfectly justified, used correctly as medicine for  health conditions. On the other hand, among the available variety of drugs there is a very large range regarding the consequences they have on the body, from heroin, with tremendously harmful effects, to marijuana, which does less harm to users than alcohol.

All the reports of the Commission are accompanied by small testimonies of people of very diverse conditions and circumstance, which points to how obvious and  absurd to speak of "drug addicts" in general,  due to the fact that this word suggests  moral degradation and social dangerousness .

There is an abysmal difference between the case of Nicolás Manbode, from Mauritius, who started smoking marijuana at the age of 16, went on to inject heroin at 18 and went to jail at 21, where he contracted hepatitis and AIDS to the case of a Portuguese woman named Teresa, who does not drink alcohol, but has a habit of  taking amphetamines, ecstasy, LSD and hallucinogenic mushrooms. Teresa complains that since Portugal has decriminalized drug use the risk of buying those substances in the street has increased due to not knowing with what the mixtures are cut with by the sellers.

A very interesting case is that of Wini, mother of Guillermo, in Chile. Her son, born in 2001, at five months began to have convulsions that cut off his breathing. At two years of age the doctors diagnosed the child with epilepsy. All treatments, including brain surgery, were useless. In 2013, Wini began reading medical articles about marijuana and, thanks to a foundation, she was able to obtain some marijuana oil extract.

Since Guillermo began taking it, the seizures subsided-from about ten daily  to one or two a day-and sometimes stopped altogether. Given the complications in obtaining that oil, Mrs. Wini began to cultivate marijuana in her garden, something that, although not illegal in Chile, scandalized her family. The doctor who treated Guillermo, skeptical at first, was convinced of the beneficial effects of the marijuana oil and came to write an article about the positive therapy that he had in the treatment of epilepsy.
In Latin America, the drug trafficking mafias are a plague that cause tens of thousands of deaths and are a source of corruption that degrades democracies.

According to the report, the social and moral stigmas that fall on people who use drugs make it much difficult for them to get clean; the prejudice that looms over them is assumed by the victims themselves, and this self-blame aggravates the need to self medicate and they go back to using,  resulting in a vicious cycle. One of the most eloquent statistics in this report is that proportionately more people get clean from drug addiction in societies that are more open and tolerant of their consumption than in those where systematic repression is the prevailing policy.

Although the reasons given by the Global Drug Policy Commission to call for the cessation of the prejudices and clichés that accompany any type of drug addiction are convincing, I am afraid that the 
only way they will give way will be the decriminalization of narcotics and drug addiction treatment.

Repression replaces a policy of prevention and tolerance. Of course, legalization entails dangers.

Therefore, it is important that it be accompanied by active campaigns that, as has happened with tobacco, inform citizens of the risks they represent, and have in place  effective rehabilitation policies. The advantages of all this are already visible in the societies that have been adopting more realistic measures in the face of this problem. In fact, legalization would end a lot of crime that is the worst of the calamities generated by drugs.

Ca DFG and US and W inspectors plus volunteers clean up massive amounts of garbage at a Nor Cal illegal Cartel grow site. Among substances removed: toxic pesticides , fertilizers, rodenticides, gasoline, diesel fuel, propane cylinders and miles of plastic all which often end up in the nearest water sources, killing wildlife and draining the watersheds dry for spawning fish. Cartel grows sites are easily identified by the types of foodstuffs / beverage bottles etc left behind. Often they are found on private or Public lands and signs of poaching are usually evident. (deer, bear, squirrel, turkey, upland game birds etc) photo courtesy of : The Redheaded Blackbelt

In countries like Mexico, the struggle of the powerful cartels that dispute territories leaves dozens of deaths every month, pollutes political life with a corruption that degrades democracy and fills social life with anxiety and blood. The country allows criminals to amass dizzying fortunes like that of the famous Pablo Escobar, the murderer and Colombian narco who is now the hero of films and TV serials that the whole world applauds.

One of the arguments that usually fight the idea of ​​legalization is that, when it takes place, as happened for example with marijuana in Holland, a pioneer in this domain, this  usually becomes a magnet that attracts drug users from everywhere. However, that happens because the places where that freedom is practiced are very few and far between in the world. In any case, that has been proven a passing phenomenon.

I was recently in Uruguay and asked what effect the new policy undertaken by the Government on marijuana had so far. The answers I got were varied, but, in general, legalization does not seem to have stimulated consumption. On the contrary, some told me that, as the prohibition taboo disappeared, for many young people the prestige of using cannabis had diminished.

Little by little, there are more and more people around the world who, as promoted by the Global Drug Policy Commission, believe that the best way to combat drugs and its criminal consequences is decriminalization. One of the biggest obstacles, no doubt, as Milton Friedman prophesied many years ago, that today thousands of people live to fight against decriminalization.


  1. The evidence, statistics, case studies, academics and think tanks have long advocated legalization. If the drug war was not about money first and second politics; the US government would be educating and treating its citizenry instead of spending on our trillions each year on foreign “aid” to buy American made weapons and incarserating what is largely an non-politically connected populace. The US is what drives world corruption and drugs should be legalized so addicts can escape legal jeopardy and seek treatment.

  2. Please cite me what more harmful effects heroin hash on the body than alcohol? Even marijuna has more neurotoxins something heroin does not

    1. Google is your friend. Use it. I defy you to find one death associated with ODing on marijuana. The same cannot be said for most other illicit, and even many legal drugs...

    2. This is 4:12 @3:49
      LSD Heroin and cannabis are all schedule 1 drugs.
      So they have no medicinal value according to the DEA (I guess the FDA can't make money from them)
      There is absolutely no way you will convince me although you may make however many points you believe are valid that heroin is less toxic and safer than cannabis. Also alcohol is very damaging to the body and mind. I know both alcohol and heroin can each kill the consumer and I doubt cannabis can.
      I personally despise heroin junkies wether you make it monkey water or slam it in your vein, you're a useless waste of space and can't react fast enough while under the influence. But to each their own.

    3. 3:49 More likely to steal to supply that habit compared to alcohol.

    4. Wrong. Marijuana is much safer than heroin and alcohol

    5. @ this is 4:12 - yes indeed - to each their own. however, i must comment. i agree somewhat with what your saying, but your tone makes me think at some point during your life maybe a loved one, a friend, or even a complete stranger - someone - had a heroin addiction ,and as a result, somehow hurt you or otherwise caused you some bad something or the other. if i am wrong to assume this im sorry to mention but there are all kinds of different addicts in this world. dont let one or a few give us all a bad name!!!

  3. Legalization will not happen.
    The border wall will not happen.
    The drug use will not stop.

    This is a war on the mind body and time against humanity.

    Drugs poison the body and control the mind, they occupy the time of the consumer or the distributor.

    Addicts are allowed to have charges reduced for information leading to a guy higher up and the cycle continues.
    Who ever doesn't cooperate gets prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
    But why does this happen? BECAUSE if you have a connection to good product you can inform officers of your source and your source will likely have an abundant supply or know where to find an abundant supply.
    The amount confiscated or decommissioned means nothing.
    The product needs to be sold so that MONEY can be confiscated.
    The money is seized and placed into the agencies bank account.
    It's not about stopping drugs it's about stopping poor people from funding themselves and taking all their assets and money to fund the agencies drug account so they can buy vehicles and other items to "combat" crime.

    I just found this out because I just experienced this first hand.

    The lesson is, do not talk to police. They interrogate to get information because they don't know shit.
    1 of 4 things will happen
    1. They will try to get everyone else to inform on you and some may and they will prosecute you to the fullest extent for not cooperating
    2. No one will inform on you, they will not have sufficient evidence and will not be able to prosecute you to the full extent of the law or at all
    3. You will inform on people that you knew or trusted and you will either get some clemency or self incriminate yourself for an even bigger charge which usually self incrimination happens
    4. Every one panicks and informs on every one and you do the detectives job for them and no one except maybe one person will be set free

    Lesson learned ? Do not do anything incriminating or say anything incriminating and if asked about it deny it or ask for an attorney to be present

    Because these cops don't care about the drugs they care about finding the money made from the drugs that lure people in, poison their body and mind and consume their time but most importantly make a poor person wealthy.

    1. That's it buddy if your a lazy low life that wants to sell drugs to make a lot of money you will likely get all you think you own taken away. Then depending on how much you cooperate you will spend part of your life behind bars . The only reason theres a profit in it is because you are risking going to jail . Play the game and end up a looser just like all who went before you . Then you belly ache about the out come . I love to hear you whine .

    2. It was all written down since the beginning, destruction is unavoidable, either by satans earth pawns or by demons from outter space. Every single living thing is going to get wiped out.

    3. You make it sound like it's difficult to prosecute someone when they are caught with the product in question; it is not. If you are caught with an illicit substance that lawyer you have will recommend you cut a plea bargain and cooperate with authorities to reduce your sentence.

      For the most part though, authorities don't care much about the users, except as a source of information. They want the distributers and traffickers. Charges exist against users so they will give up their supplier, which allows authorities to locate and start cases against them and further up the heirarchy. However, they have to prosecute the users that don't cooperate or the authorities will lose the stick that makes people want to cut a deal.


    4. Legalize use, legalize the drugs themselves, it won't solve the problem. When it comes to addictive substances that doesn't make people stop using the things; just look at cigarettes. Even with the negative stigma attached to them people still use, albeit to a lesser extent than 20-30 years ago. What you'll also see is the criminal groups adapt to smuggling of a legal substance instead of an illegal one.

      To use cigarettes again, smuggling of those is worth billions in the States alone. Something as simple as buying a bunch of cartons and reselling them in a neighboring state for less than the local cost because each state has their own tax rate attached to the things. Best part, for the criminals, the sentences attached to such things is minimal. Far less than current drug charges.

      What follows both the illegal sale of legal goods and the sale of illicit substances is money laundering. If we want to solve the problem of cartels, that needs to be a greater focus that what we currently give it. Sadly, tracking laundering is HARD. And these days rarely does it result in a giant pile of cash for that political photo op that results in greater funding to law enforcement.

      We definitely need to destigmatize the use of illicit drugs though. Put it on the level of cigarette smoking, a socially nasty habit that people still do, but not one that results in the inability to get a job in the future; unless you refuse to cooperate with the cops when you're caught. Basically, an expected plea deal to remove all charges through cooperation. Has the additional effect of making distributors even more wary of customers when they know the guy can get out of his drug charge by telling the authorities about him. Ends up reducing available supply on the retail end. Attached mandatory rehab for the user. Unfortunately, if the person goes back to the area where they started using they are likely to start using again if their situation doesn't change, which presents an interesting problem that I have no possible solution for.

      Those items will help deal with the problem on the homefront. After that, you need to deal with things from the source side. Go after cartels and their government supporters just as you would a terrorist organization. Classify them as such, which means less funding to governments with known affiliations with those organizations (same as we do with Iran and Venezuela). Treat the deaths caused by drugs supplied by them as an attack on our society, which it is.

      Do these ideas cover everything? No, not does it cover every single detail associated with them. But it's still better than the way we are going about things now, at least in my opinion.


  4. Mexico is totally totally against legalization.
    It's their biggest export and source of foreign currency.
    That's why they only play act that they want to destroy cartels.

    1. Not even close im afraid. Mexico export 280 billion of goods to USA/Canada every year, drugs are 30 billion per year, legal and illegal workers from Mexico in the USA send 29 billion in currency back to Mexico every year. Pemex puts 60 billion into the Mexican Economy every year.

    2. Pemex no longer is a cash cow as it has negative cash flow!
      No other biz exports more than the drug biz.
      And soon when NAFTA becomes fair trade Mexico is going to be in deep hurt!

    3. Tourism and oil used to be big for Mexico, however, both are in severe decline. The only growing business with the world is drugs!

    4. and similar, user-run sites like have made the drug economy more transparent than ever – but it’s still virtually impossible to put a sticker price on it. Academic literature on the topic puts the figure at anywhere from $200 to more than $750 billion, with most estimating around the $400-$500 billion level. But as an illegal activity, illicit drug use is highly under-reported, if at all, so “guesstimates” are the name of the game when it comes to determining the market’s size.
      90% of wholesale trade is controlled by Mexican cartels.
      30 billion dollars - a stupid estimate.

    5. Recent surveys and research studies by sources from the UN to put the size of the illegal drug market in the U.S. at anywhere from $200 to $750 billion. with most estimating around the $400-$500 billion level (US). But as an illegal activity, illicit drug use is highly under-reported, if at all, so “guesstimates” are the name of the game when it comes to determining the market’s size.
      90% of wholesale trade is controlled by Mexican cartels.
      30 billion dollars - a stupid estimate.

    6. 8:30 and 8:26

      Both your conclusions are way off because you fallaciously conclude, and conflate, Mexico's drug income based on the WORLD drug income. You haven't shown the specific income from drugs particular to Mexico.

    7. 1:17
      $400-$500 billion this is the US drug market
      The share of wholesale trade in all trade is 30%.
      Share of Mexican drug cartels 90% of the USA.
      500x30%=150-15=135 billion dollars (real income)

      facts: Mexican cartels laundered 378 billion from 2004 to 2007 through the bank wachovia (And this is only one bank). About a hundred billion dollars a year...

    8. 4:40
      Thanks for clarifying.

    9. 6:24
      The total income of Mexican drug cartels from all illegal activities in the world (drugs, prostitution, racketeering, counterfeiting, illegal extraction of minerals, fraud) will be more than 200 billion, probably.
      In the legal business, Mexican cartels own: real estate, clubs, hotels, restaurants, around the world...
      We can only guess at how much money they earn.
      PS sorry for my English.

    10. 7:07
      Your English is good.

  5. Too true unfortunately. Those cockroaches will go anywhere to get the $$. At least, if drugs were legalized, the jails would have more room for those who resort to violence to make ends meet.

  6. It might surprise you to learn that Portugal basically decriminalized all drugs back in 2000. So far their approach seems to be working to a large degree.

  7. It won't be legalized because the wrong color people will profit which is black and brown the money for the whites is to fight it which they are doing a horrible job at and also to In prison people of color which is also another making money for them I'm not saying this is all about race but these are systems that have been put in place along time ago to guarantee a certain level of standing between cultures and the main agenda of USA

  8. If that's not possible how about decriminalising all drugs like portugal

  9. Legalize drugs=transfer of wealth

  10. So often we do not accurately language our issues. Sometimes we are talking apples v. oranges or worse yet bananas v. mangoes. We must differentiate decriminalization from legalization. It really is an important issue.

    1. Excellent point.
      I've been in such discussions... frustrating to say the least. Lay people often get into must "win" emo mode and things go downhill from there.

      IMO, totally "rational" discussions on the topic of addictive drugs is rarely possible because most people don't really want to do this kind cold intellectual "work".

      Whether it is a banana or an orange often becomes an ego trip based on the power of the speaker to impose his/her POV. IMO, this is a large part of the "addictive drug problems" in the world.

  11. Put pedro huesca. In 2012 He was investigating of the disappearance of people in Veracruz. He was targeted by zetas and corrupted police including politicians. Since he arrested a leader that had important contacts. He disappear in 2013.

    1. He was an investigator for the Veracruz state district attorney's office.

    2. 11:58 AM

      true. some people just can't stand the fact that someone else is doing something they don't approve of- even if it hurts nobody else. gotta love when someone shouts scorn on the heroin user while just as addicted to their own endogenous opiate dopamine rush every time they feel validated for being "right correct" in their own eyes. This feeling is even more addictive than heroin..dont believe me? lets see how many people have to tell me im wrong, whether in a reply like an exhibitionist would do or even just saying it to themselves like a monkey jerkin it to porn in solitude dope dopamine just the same. Man likes personifying things especially so for things he doesn't understand. "that drug is the devil" oh thank heavens I was worried there for second we were going to have to take responsibility for our own actions, of course the drug is the devil, its not me being a shuck that can't handle his shit its the devil and im powerless we can go back to berating others that don't do what I do, all behavior is learned but who needs sovereignty over ones own body when we can just tell others they are wrong and im right. being right isnt more addictive than heroin is it? lets see how many people will need to remind me im wrong either in group orgy forum reply or just to themselves masturbation style. yay hashtag me shoe

    3. 1:39 Personal responsibility get manipulated too often, to blame the victims of greed and the greedy propaganda they spend billions of dollars a day.
      --Let's take Big Pharma, they spent MORE THAN A HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS "lobbying congress" with proposiciones indecorosas" to pass the OXY legislation that made billions and billions of even taxpayer's dollars in their pockets:
      "to satisfy their personal greedy mental masturbations"
      --Using Mexico as a staging area for drug trafficking to the US did not start with the Mexican cartel or government either
      --we could use a report on the Pedro Huesca case, it would be USEFUL, more useful than accusing us for our shortcomings, after all we did not kill/torture/bind or disappear him,
      but by 2012 we had new "president epn" who got to power on the shoulders of giant sow Javier "La Marrana" Duarte de Ochoa and colombian hackers with $50 000.00 USD russian computer programs (See: JJ Rendón) while his SSPE SECRETARY OF PUBLIC SECURITY of the state made himself millions and millions of dollars to buy homes on the US that never for a second investigated where the money came from, TYPICAL US GOVERNMENT BEHAVIOUR while others get billions and billions in Russian investments in even RUBLES like FACEBOOK Mark Suckerberg'S initial investors, no wonder he lives hidden in Hawaii on his own personal island and has been kicking Hawaiian out of there who have been living at their family homes for hundreds of years.
      --Arturo Bermudez Zurita SSPEV, needed no motherfacking investigations back then, but he has no power now, take your heroic fight to him and "La Marrana duarte de ochoa" and contribute A REPORT instead of a "rant"

  12. 4:59 unlike Portugal people here in the states and most anywhere there is tons of money people tend to overindulge in what they enjoy be it food, women and even drugs. What works in Portugal might cause many an accidental overdose here in the States. You cannot always compare one country to the next for this as well as other reasons like cultural upbringing against even trying drugs, even religious beliefs, money which I, had mentioned already etc...
    Marijuana is only legal because it might just be true that you cannot overdose on it but that is not the case with many other drugs which is ONE of the reasons for the war on drugs to begin with.

  13. 3:00
    So you could tell the future? Or, what's your evidence? Actually, most data suggest the opposite of what you're saying.

  14. Wrap yourself in bubble-wrap then have someone spray the whole thing down in Lysol . . . maybe that way YOU won't get hurt or sick. But just mind your own fucking business - it drugs scare you then by all means stay away! But leave the rest of us alone you freaking useless paranoid busybody.


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