nDawg, there are very few guarantees in this world.
Keeping the military down there will not be as expensive as you think. Its just moving them from one post in the U.S. to another. Have them drill just like they do at Ft. Sam or Ft. Hood or wherever ... just on the border on publicly owned lands. But always have a contingent on the border itself. The rule should be line of sight: one man for every 100 yards of that border. Fewer of course if you are in open flat desert where people can be seen from great distances. Hell, we already have one huge base that is only a short distance from the border (Ft. Bliss in El Paso).
You ever squeeze a balloon?
Of course, it just bulges at a different point.
Let's imagine we effectively seal the southern border. Drug shipments, and thus supply, go down. Per laws of economics, the price then goes up even more. What used to be worth $300k a shipment is now worth $1 million. That's triple the incentive to get the drugs in here. With that kind of incentive, they'll find a way.
Increased use of freighters into our ports. Shipping the stuff from Mexico to Canada via boat, then crossing the relatively unprotected northern border into the US.
If it's lucrative - and the harder you squeeze, the better it pays - then folks will ship it in.
You are fighting against human nature (we will do anything to stimulate our pleasure center - some of us will blow a stranger, sell our kids, etc) and the laws of economics (if it's highly profitable, someone will take on the business). You will lose. Every time. Forever. Man's laws yield to nature's law.
So, we'll lose...but we'll bankrupt ourselves, destroy what's left of our civil liberties, and utterly destroy our neighbors (sorry, Mexico, you're $#@!ed - and Canada, don't get $#@!y...you're next). The stupidity/folly of this approach is breathtaking. Which, of course, means that our government will almost certainly do just that.
The drug lords aren't going ape$#@! with crime for $#@!s and giggles. They're doing it for profit. Ungodly amounts of profit - billions upon billions.
Why is there so much profit there? Laws of economics again - our enforcement and interdiction DOES constrict supply some. But demand stays the same...so the price goes up. In a non-black market, a kilo of coke might go for $100...not worth fighting a war over trade routes for. In a black market, it's worth killing and dying for.
SO...choke the beast where it counts. Take away the profit, and crime on the border plummets. And how do we take away the profit? Take away the ONE thing that inflates the price: the artificial constriction of supply by our pointless interdiction efforts, which have done nothing to quell demand.
Your reasoning is circular. Criminalization created a black market, which inevitably becomes a criminal enterprise (Al Capone says hi)...and you want to fight this problem that our enforcement efforts created by...more enforcement. That's bureaucratic thinking at its best, I'll give you that.
Last edited by Brisketexan; 02-22-2012 at 12:38 AM.
Excellent post. I'll have to +rep you for it.
As a practical matter, with the Debt being what it is (see another thread on Cloak Room) I suspect this drug enforcement effort is going to come crashing down in a few years. Will not be a priority compared to the doings of other agencies (e.g., Social Security, IRS, State Dept and military branches) so they will just stop vigorously enforcing the drug laws when they shunt the money elsewhere as they try to keep the government alive in the face of an exploding Debt bomb.
2) The crime on the boarder would be cut in half (maybe more) if all drugs were legalized and regulated tomorrow. If we don't want to take that radical step, crime on the boarder would still be cut drastically if we just legalize marijuana. Cartels make the big bucks because they are willing to take the risks that go along with providing a black market product on a mass scale. Take that away from them, they become legitimate business or they die off.
3) If you militarize the Mexican boarder, the Canadian boarder will take up the slack on the demand, as Brisket said. The laws of economics are powerful. The invisible hand (especially in the black market) always prevails.
Has someone just been swayed by a compelling argument over the internet? I'm pretty sure that will undo the universe by generating an enourmous gravity well powerful enough to unmake matter.
This was in one of the fitness blogs I follow today.
juz - either you did not read very closely my posts or you are deliberately citing what I have said out of context.*Sigh* -- One last time: my concern with the border has to do with the tsunami of hard drugs (narcotics) making it across and flooding our streets.
Oh bull$#@!, 1 post you're lumping pot into this and the next youre taking it out, that just shows you dont know WTF you are talking about
Why is is so hard for you to see history repeating itself, prohibition in the US = gangsters got rich bootlegging and crime, murders shot up. the EXACT same thing is happening now with drugs
The war on drugs is over and drugs won, we can waste billions more making tougher laws and taking your idea of putting troops on the border but its wont change anything, the genie is out of the bottle.
Taxing and regulation is only answer anything else is just throwing money into the fire
Interesting article from 2009 speaking how much Tax money there would be.
On the national level, the estimate of tax revenue varies, but it is significant. The Bulletin of Cannabis Reform has a 2007 paper stating:
With the estimated retail value of the U.S. marijuana market at $113 billion, the local, state, and federal governments are forgoing $31.1 billion in potential sales tax each year. At the same time, marijuana arrests cost taxpayers $10.7 billion annually.
A much more modest estimate came from economist Jeffrey Miron in a 2005 paper:
Revenue from taxation of marijuana sales would range from $2.4 billion per year if marijuana were taxed like ordinary consumer goods to $6.2 billion if it were taxed like alcohol or tobacco.
...Replacing marijuana prohibition with a system of legal regulation would save approximately $7.7 billion in government expenditures on prohibition enforcement -- $2.4 billion at the federal level and $5.3 billion at the state and local levels.
Last edited by Emoryoid; 02-22-2012 at 07:30 PM.
Gov't should protect liberty and serve its people, IMHO.
That ship sailed long ago, though...
Now it's just to the point of where all the money goes.
Last edited by slorch; 02-22-2012 at 07:35 PM.
If they were legalized . . . there wouldn't BE unregulated narcotics coming over (in any appreciable quantities, at least).So even if hard drugs were legalized, we would need a lot of forces on the border to keep unregulated narcotics out. We have to do that because what good is a government if it does not protect its people?
When we lifted prohibition, bootlegging and rumrunning drifted away to essentially nothing (sure, there are always folks smuggling some of EVERYTHING to try to get a little cheaper, etc. -- $#@!, we have people smuggling in counterfeit jeans and purses). The point is, by and large, the financial incentive to smuggle hard drugs will disappear. Folks would risk their ass transporting a load worth $3 million. After the removal of the artificial price support that is illegality and enforcement, that same load is worth $300k -- not worth putting your ass on the line.
And the Pfizers of the world will make PLENTY to satisfy domestic demand. Well, I'm sure their totally unconnected subsidiary, "Happy Times, Inc." will make them -- wouldn't want to sully the Pfizer brand with such things (but will happily rake in the revenue).
And if hard drugs get the same tort treatment as raw oysters -- you can consume them, but they are inherently risky and thus you can't sue the seller for the drugs harming you -- then the manufacturers are shielded from all but negligently-introduced impurities (Pfizer has immunity to sell coke, it doesn't have immunity to sell coke cut with rat poison).
The point being that domestic demand will be satisfied by LEGAL production. Hell, Pfizer will probably go to folks in the Sinaloa cartel who control growing of huge swaths of weed, coca, etc., and subcontract with them for the raw material. Yesterday's rum runner becomes today's legal liquor distributor. Same with drugs. If there's no financial incentive to smuggle, there won't be much.
Legalizing drugs pulls the rug out from under the things you point out as the greatest concerns: crime along the border and impure, poisonous drugs. Let Pfizer make and sell them, and those problems effectively disappear. Poof. It really is that easy. The laws of economics really are pretty simple when you're just looking at commodities, supply, and demand.
As always, Brisket making great points. To elaborate on his point about smuggling not being worth the hassle and whatnot, I'll give you a great example.
In a bunch of nightclubs across the country and just about everywhere people buy Ecstasy (MDMA) they have to worry about getting bunk $#@!. To make extra money, 99% of the dealers of E out there aren't dealing you straight MDMA. It's usually a speed-ridden tab with a very small portion of MDMA thrown in so you get some euphoric feeling out of it. This is more dangerous for the user because instead of taking MDMA, which is rather harmless outside of extremely high doses, kids are taking almost pure speed. You remember those reports about kids dying of heat stroke at raves or whatever and those stupid propaganda ads where some $#@! was telling you that they found MDMA in the subject's body after they did an autopsy? Yeah, those kids weren't dying because they were taking pure MDMA. They were dying because they were taking a pill/tab that had 5% MDMA and 95% speed. They didn't get the euphoric high they wanted because of the low MDMA levels, so they probably re-dosed several times.
So, if you could provide a legal alternative that actually was 100% MDMA, nobody would ever buy pills from a dealer again. They'd ALL go out and get prescriptions for MDMA from their doc or they'd be buying from people who did have scripts. It'd be 1000x more safe for the user, they wouldn't be risking jail time, and the drug cartels/shady individuals supplying the dangerous and bunk E would all go out of business. Pfizer are some $#@!ing evil crooks, but they'd be pushing a safe product and they wouldn't be shooting anyone over it like the drug runners.
Cannabis accounts for over 50% of Drug Cartel Revenue.
Legalize/Decriminalize that and 50% of their revenue is gone- that puts a hell of a damper on their ability to produce and smuggle hard drugs (which is a much smaller market than that of Cannabis) into the U.S.
Say they were to legalize pot. What do you do about the companies and governments that require drug testing as a condition of employment? What about the people who claim it's medicinal and say they have the right to smoke it a work for medical reasons? How would all of this work?
I don't think companies should do drug tests however I can't see letting people get wasted at work either. Plus, what about the lawsuits that would come because some company wouldn't allow an employee to treat his medical condition at work? Cali would become a labor law nightmare for sure.
How about you treat it like alcohol. Problem $#@!ing solved.
SIAP, here's a fascinating article about a possible heroin vaccine. Obviously, the biggest concern with legalizing drugs is the impact that hard-core, addictive drugs could have on society. If it becomes possible to easily and effectively negate the addiction of those drugs through treatment, that would undercut the arguments supporting the war on drugs.
A group of Mexican scientists is working on a vaccine that could reduce addiction to one of the world's most notorious narcotics: heroin.
Researchers at the country's National Institute of Psychiatry say they have successfully tested the vaccine on mice and are preparing to test it on humans.
The vaccine, which has been patented in the US, makes the body resistant to the effects of heroin, so users would no longer get a rush of pleasure when they smoked or injected it.
"It would be a vaccine for people who are serious addicts, who have not had success with other treatments and decide to use this application to get away from drugs," the institute's director Maria Elena Medina said on Thursday.
Scientists worldwide have been searching for drug addiction vaccines for several years, but none have yet been fully developed. A group at the US National Institute on Drug Abuse has reported significant progress in a vaccine for cocaine.
However, the Mexican scientists appear to be close to making a breakthrough on a heroin vaccine and have received funds from the US institute as well as the Mexican government.
During the tests, mice were given access to deposits of heroin over an extended period of time. Those given the vaccine showed a huge drop in heroin consumption, giving the institute hope that it could also work on people, Medina said.
Kim Janda, a scientist working on his own narcotics vaccines at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, said that the Mexican vaccine could function but with some shortcomings.
"It could be reasonably effective, but maybe too general and affect too many different types of opioids as well as heroin," Janda said.
Mexico has a growing drug addiction problem. Health secretary Jose Cordoba recently said the country now has about 450,000 hard drug addicts, particularly along the trafficking corridors of the US-Mexico border.
Mexican gangsters grow opium poppies in the Sierra Madre mountains and convert them into heroin known as Black Tar and Mexican Mud, which are smuggled over the Rio Grande.
Every year, the heroin trade provides billions of dollars to gangs such as the Sinaloa Cartel and the Zetas. Since 2006, cartel violence has claimed the lives of over 47,000 people in Mexico.
Colorado challenging the FEDs
Colorado Poised for Ballot Measure to Legalize Marijuana
Getting busted for pot possession may become a thing of the past in Colorado come this November, when voters in that state decide whether or not to make the drug clear and legal for recreational use. As reported by the Seattle Times, Colorado joins Washington State, which in early February tallied enough signatures to place a referendum before the voters on legalizing marijuana.
If the initiative passes in Colorado, individuals 21 and older will be able to legally possess up to one ounce of marijuana for personal use. The measure would also allow residents to grow up to six marijuana plants in their home, and specially regulated stores would be licensed to sell the drug. The measure includes an option that would allow communities to ban such businesses if they desire.
While Colorado voters rejected a similar referendum in 2006, attitudes toward marijuana have been changing over the past six years, with even erstwhile conservative Americans becoming more open to legalizing what was once considered a dangerous drug. A recent Gallup poll found that around 50 percent of Americans now support legalization of pot. However, passage of the measure is far from certain. In 2010, California voters defeated a referendum to legalize recreational marijuana by 54 percent.
Reuters reported that unlike the failed 2006 measure, Colorado’s 2012 referendum will create a taxation and regulatory plan. The first $40 million in taxes will be earmarked for public schools, with the remainder placed in the state’s general fund.
Mason Tvert, one of the initiative's major promoters, said he and other pot proponents would use the time before the November ballot to build a “broad base of support” for passage of the measure. “Coloradans have a chance to make history this November, and we believe they are ready to do just that,” he said in a statement.
The Denver Post noted that the referendum nearly fell short of the needed petition signatures. “Proponents came up short of the required 86,105 valid signatures in their first attempt at submitting petitions,” reported the paper. “Given the chance to collect more signatures, they handed in another 14,000. Nearly 7,000 of those were found valid, putting the initiative over the top.”
Writing in Time magazine, author and Yale Law School instructor Adam Cohen noted that Washington State’s referendum “would treat pot much like alcohol, so the sale of marijuana would be restricted to people over 21. The new law would give the Liquor Control Board the authority to license marijuana farms, and marijuana tax revenues would be directed to health and drug-abuse prevention programs.”
Baptist Press News reported that opponents of the measure “argued that legalizing the recreational usage of marijuana would lead to an increase in drugged drivers and road deaths, an uptick in marijuana’s usage among teens and young adults, and an increase in crime statewide.” Canada’s Dalhousie University released an analysis of several studies demonstrating that individuals who had used marijuana within three hours of operating a motor vehicle were twice as likely to cause a wreck.
Additionally, many opponents insist that pot is a “gateway” drug that can lead users to harder drugs such as cocaine or heroin. A University of Michigan survey found that pot use among high school students is already at a 30-year high, even as alcohol consumption has decreased.
Cohen noted that up to now the debate in many states has been focused strictly on marijuana for medicinal use. “The argument that cancer patients and others with chronic pain should be able to alleviate it by using marijuana has been prevailing in state after state,” he wrote. “Today, 16 states — including Washington and Colorado — and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for medical purposes.”
Even if the referendums fail in Colorado and Washington, proponents say the issue is not going away, and will only intensify as younger voters continue to push for legalization in other states. Presently, activists in California, Montana, and Michigan are working feverishly to get referendums on the ballots in their states. Surveys show that support for legalized pot has been rising steadily over the past 40 years, from 12 percent in 1970 to 50 percent today, with Americans age 18-29 leading the pack at 62 percent.
Cohen predicted that with such a combination of “fast-growing support and solid majorities among the young,” it appears to be just a matter of time before the national discussion turns from “whether to legalize marijuana to how to do it in the most prudent way.”
Too many shiny, happy Christians in Colorado for that to pass.
If one wants marijuana to be legal to any extant, and stay legal, maybe the best thing to do is tax it. Give the state a new vein. Even better, get a special–interest interested in the tax money. Guarantee all dispensary taxes end up in a good sounding cause with a union behind it—schools would be great. Especially in California, where balancing a budget is not easy, this would protect against future attempts to roll back legalization. Imagine the governor telling voters: "We could re-criminalize pot...but we'll have to fire a lot of teachers."
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics...n-pot-20120216With more than 100 raids on pot dispensaries during his first three years, Obama is now on pace to exceed Bush's record for medical-marijuana busts. "There's no question that Obama's the worst president on medical marijuana," says Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project. "He's gone from first to worst."
The federal crackdown imperils the medical care of the estimated 730,000 patients nationwide – many of them seriously ill or dying – who rely on state-sanctioned marijuana recommended by their doctors. In addition, drug experts warn, the White House's war on law-abiding providers of medical marijuana will only drum up business for real criminals. "The administration is going after legal dispensaries and state and local authorities in ways that are going to push this stuff back underground again," says Ethan Nadelmann, director of the Drug Policy Alliance. Gov. Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, a former Republican senator who has urged the DEA to legalize medical marijuana, pulls no punches in describing the state of affairs produced by Obama's efforts to circumvent state law: "Utter chaos."
Article worth an anger or despair inducing read. There's a bit about how they actually chose some of the most compliant (on a State level) dispensaries as targets.
It is enough to get somewhat tinfoil hat and wonder how much the cartels are paying the Justice Department to keep the war up.
Last edited by MC Fresh Breath; 03-07-2012 at 09:49 AM.
I was once a team guy so I still hold out hope for guys like Gil and others that vote or approve of things based on letters but I chuckle now at anyone that criticized Bush but cheer Obama or vice versa. Same person just one has a better tan.
Latin America Debates Drug Legalization; Obama Demands More War on Drugs
Leaders throughout Latin America are increasingly hinting that they may defect from the United Nations-inspired and U.S. government-led “War on Drugs.” But the Obama administration, despite adding trillions in new debt in recent years, forcefully vowed to continue pursuing the controversial war while pledging more American taxpayer funds to foreign governments for the battle.
Last month, Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina — a widely respected former military general with a long history of battling communism and tyranny — put the issue in the spotlight when he declared that the drug war needed to be reconsidered. The tough-on-crime leader suggested, among other measures, the legalization of the use and transportation of narcotics.
And he plans to seek support from other governments in the region ahead of an upcoming summit. "We're bringing the issue up for debate," he stated on February 13. "Today's meeting [with El Salvador President Mauricio Funes] is intended to strengthen our methods of fighting organized crime. But if drug consumption isn't reduced," he warned, "the problem will continue."
Guatemala has become one of the most dangerous nations in the world, with a soaring murder rate, overcrowded prisons, and vast swaths of territory largely controlled by criminals. Meanwhile, powerful international drug cartels continue to terrorize the populace, with well over half of all cocaine shipped to the United States transiting through Central America.
Despite more and more billions spent on the “war,” however, the problems keep getting worse. And Latin Americans are finally getting sick of it.
"Are we going to be responsible to put up a war against the cartels if we don't produce the drugs or consume the drugs? We're just a corridor of illegality," noted former Guatemalan Vice President Eduardo Stein, who led Perez Molina's transition team. "The issue of drugs in the U.S. is very marginalized, while for Guatemala and the rest of Central America it's very central."
In the United States, drug-warrior bureaucrats blasted the Guatemalan proposal to legalize drugs. But it received strong support among diverse groups — including from a prominent organization of law-enforcement officers and judges opposed to the drug war.
“President Molina’s initiative is unprecedented and marks the first time since the launching of the ‘war on drugs’ by Richard Nixon in 1971 that a foreign head of state has actively challenged the US-led policies of drug prohibition and tried to build a coalition against drug prohibition,” noted Major Neill Franklin (Ret.), Executive Director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP).
“We all need to show our support to President Molina and his potential Latin American allies,” Franklin said in a statement, asking supporters to sign a petition in favor of the plan. “We also need to put pressure on the Obama administration to ensure that it doesn’t stall Molina’s proposal, and that it allows a truthful debate at the April 14-15 Summit of the Americas and beyond.”
In LEAP’s petition supporting the effort, the organization noted that despite enormous resources “wasted” on the drug war, it is a failure that has unleashed “destruction and chaos all over the world” — particularly in Central America. “Prohibition is the worst possible form of control as it leaves control in the hands of powerful criminal organizations,” the statement noted.
And it is not just the Guatemalan government and U.S.-based activists re-thinking the costly war. All across Latin America and beyond, the debate is raging and opposition to prohibition is growing.
In Mexico, as the U.S.-funded “War on Drugs” accelerated and got the military involved, the nation spiraled into chaos, with murder rates soaring to unheard of levels. In response to the spectacular failure of the crackdown, the nation legalized marijuana. And despite being among the largest recipients of U.S. drug war-related tax dollars, Mexican President Felipe Calderon even suggested that “market alternatives” be considered in the United States to deal with drugs.
Colombia has been ravaged by the drug war over a period spanning several decades — much of the world’s cocaine is produced there, and profits are used to finance guerilla war. But the nation is also increasingly leaning toward the idea of legalization. President Juan Manuel Santos even said he would support legalization if other governments would agree.
"It's a theme that must be addressed," Colombia's Foreign Minister Maria Holguin told reporters last month. "The war on drugs definitely hasn't been the success it should be and it's something the countries should discuss."
Other heads of state in the region, including Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla and President Mauricio Funes of El Salvador, have backed the calls for discussions about legalizing drugs, too. And countless former leaders from around the world — and particularly Latin America, with more than a few prominent ex-Presidents — have joined the growing chorus in support of ending the drug war.
As the debate in Latin America grew louder, however, the Obama administration promptly dispatched high-level functionaries to tone down the enthusiasm and quash any potential rebellion before it got out of hand. Vice President Joe Biden arrived in the region on March 4 to reiterate the U.S. government’s opposition, saying the benefits of legalizing drugs would be outweighed by new problems like the need for bureaucracy to regulate them and an increase in users.
“I think it warrants a discussion. It is totally legitimate,” Biden was quoted as saying. “And the reason it warrants a discussion is, on examination you realize there are more problems with legalization than with non-legalization.” He did not mention the experiences of other nations that have legalized drugs such as Portugal, which saw a dramatic decline in drug use, addiction, and crime — in fact, ten years after legalization, drug abuse dropped by half.
Before Obama upped the ante and sent Biden, U.S. “Homeland Security” boss Janet Napolitano went to Guatemala to deliver essentially the same message. "The United States does not view decriminalization as a viable way to deal with the narcotics problem," Napolitano, known among critics as “Big Sis,” reportedly told the Guatemalan President. She also promised more “assistance” and “more and more cooperation” for governments that fight drugs with sufficient vigor.
Critics of the Obama administration’s strategy lambasted the recent comments supporting the perpetuation of the U.S. government’s tax-funded bullying and perpetual war on various substances. But pressure is building at all levels across the region to end current policies.
“Latin American citizens and government leaders are openly protesting a model where their nations pay in blood and lives to fill U.S. defense contractors' pockets and spread the Pentagon's global reach — with few, if any, positive results," wrote Laura Carlsen, the director of the Mexico City-based Americas Program for the Center for International Policy. “A real discussion on effective strategies has to include the option of legalization.”
Despite the massive flow of U.S. tax dollars to Latin American governments, American influence in the region is on the decline as the federal government becomes increasingly belligerent and indebted while socialists continue to take over. And according to analysts, the Obama administration’s protests, arm-twisting and demands may soon begin to fall on deaf ears.
“The intransigence displayed by the Obama administration and Janet Napolitano might end up backfiring,” noted Jeffrey Dhywood, author of the recently released book World War D: The Case against prohibitionism, roadmap to controlled re-legalization. “The time is gone when the US could dictate its fiat to the region. Its strategy of string-attached aid, which often amounts to intimidation and bribery, eerily mirrors the ‘plomo o plata’ strategy of the drug cartels.” The cartel strategy translates to “lead/bullets or silver/money,” which essentially means take the bribe or pay dearly.
Of course, constitutional scholars have pointed out that the U.S. Constitution does not even give the federal government any authority to wage a war on drugs inside America, let alone around the world. But the federal government has nonetheless already spent over $1 trillion on its drug efforts in Latin America alone, even as the U.S. border remains wide open. Meanwhile, some 50,000 people in Mexico alone have paid for the war with their lives in recent years.
But inside the United States, the war on drugs is coming under increasing pressure, too. Over a dozen states have already nullified federal marijuana laws by legalizing the plant for medical use. And citizens in several states including Colorado and California are potentially on the verge of completely legalizing cannabis even for recreational purposes.
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