Monday, April 13, 2009

Mexican Congress debates legalizing marijuana

If pot were permitted to be grown legally in Mexico, the supply would be very large, the profits would become very small, distributors would no longer need guns to transport their product and gangsters would have no incentive to murder people in order to control the market. The trade in marijuana would become much like the trade in wheat, corn, cotton or any other commodity. Do you see the Mafia or street gangs trafficking in soy beans?

Alas, the proposed change in Mexico sounds like it will be restricted to permitting Mexicans to legally possess and smoke small quantities of marijuana, but won't change the law with regard to growers or distributors:
Mexico's Congress opened a three-day debate Monday on the merits of legalizing marijuana for personal use, a policy backed by three former Latin American presidents who warned that a crackdown on drug cartels is not working. ... Proponents had a boost in February when three former presidents - Cesar Gaviria of Colombia, Ernesto Zedillo of Mexico and Fernando Cardoso of Brazil - urged Latin American countries to consider legalizing the drug to undermine a major source of income for cartels.

The vicious drug war in Mexico is not being fought over personal use. It's being fought over billions of dollars in profits -- profits that exist only because growing and distributing that commodity is illegal.

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