How Will the “War on (Some) Drugs” End?

Here’s an excerpt from an interesting article on how the end of the war on drugs may come from Latin America. This read is worth your time.


To be clear, Mexico is not fighting the drug war just for itself. Drug use isn’t particularly high in the country. National drug surveys show that, in 2011, 1.5% of Mexicans ages 12 to 65 used illicit drugs in the previous year, compared with about 8.7% of all Americans ages 12 and older in the previous month in the same y ear. The age and time span differences are due to differing methodologies in national surveys, but they nonetheless show that way more Americans use drugs than Mexicans.

Mexico is, instead, fighting a drug war — with U.S. financial support — to stop the flow of drugs that mostly America and other wealthy nations consume. This means Mexico is taking on all of this violence to stop the flow of drugs into the U.S. and other rich countries. And Mexico is not alone; it is widely understood that wealthier nations are the consumer countries, while developing nations like Colombia and Bolivia, are merely the sources of production. Also, Mexico, much of Central America and parts of Africa, act as transshipment hubs in the drug trade.
. . .
What’s worse? As Mexico’s experience suggests, trying to crack down on violence can cause even more problems. As Brookings Institution senior fellow Vanda Felbab-Brown explained in a 2014 paper, anti-drug efforts can cause the population to turn against government in situations in which, for instance, drug production and trafficking are the only source of jobs. And that disapproval can lead to more violence.

“A failure to actually provide such comprehensive alternative development — only promising it for the future and undertaking eradication prematurely — will result in social instability, critically destabilizing the government immediately after conflict,” Felbab-Brown wrote. “In that case, the government will only be able to maintain eradication by resorting to very harsh measures toward the population and will have to maintain such repression for many years.”

To read this complete paper, GO HERE.


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Author: DavidB

a heathen, but hopefully not an unenlightened one

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