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War on Junk author nails it

A MySpace friend of mine, Christopher Largen of Denton, Texas, has this to say about Mexico's new drug laws ...
Though criticized, Mexico's recent decision allowing citizens to possess small amounts of illegal drugs for personal use is a more sensible, focused allocation of resources in a bloody war that is tearing their nation and causing widespread violence against civilians, reporters and police officers to spill across our borders. This new policy will allow Mexican officials to target supply, and will prevent thousands of nonviolent users from being further devastated by unnecessary incarceration. This approach is perhaps not as radical as it sounds to many Americans, considering that Mexican judges already possessed the legal ability to exercise discretion when sentencing users.

Opponents of Mexico's innovative approach will undoubtedly express horror at the potential increase in substance abuse. However, I don't know too many Americans who would run out and try heroin if it were legalized tomorrow, and international precedents set in other nations that have decriminalized illicit substances indicate that a short-term increase in substance use (stemming from the publicly-perceived novelty of a new legalized drug) will dissipate within a few years, with use rates decreasing to levels lower than those seen under prohibition policies. For example, the Netherlands has maintained lower marijuana use rates than the United States, in spite of their defacto legalization of the substance.

However, Mexico's new policy is no panacea. It fails to address the vast amounts of money being made in the illicit market, or the corruption those profits breed. The kingpins of the illicit drug-supply network are ruthless. They don't fear imprisonment, or even death (if they feared either, they likely wouldn't be kingpins). Their bottom line is money and power; they are addicted to both. There is perhaps only one way to undermine the influence of the cartellians - eliminate 95% of their financial gain by forcing their product into a regulated, legal marketplace that can monitor and control production and distribution, where licensure, quality assurance and age-restriction standards are strictly enforced, and criminal justice resources are expended for maximum impact on public safety, working to keep streets safe from sexual predators, murderers, thieves - and violent cartellians.

Your Iconoclast,

Chris Largen
Founder of Building BLOCK (Better Laws for Our Communities and Kids)
Co-author of Prescription Pot (New Horizon Press, 2003)
Author of Junk (ENC Press, 2005)
Yep. He hit the nail on the head. Check out his book, War on Junk. It is a parody of our drug war, about a society that decides to have a war on fast food. Good stuff.

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