Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Guatemala's Perez Molina Wants to Legalize all Drugs

theragblog | Supporters of legalization talk about the effects of allowing market forces to come into play. If currently illegal drugs were legalized in Latin America, they could be shipped north via normal means. The shippers wouldn’t need expensive private airplanes and submarines when DHL will take it as far as Nuevo Laredo. They also wouldn’t need a private army to protect it all along the way. Legitimate business people would become involved and the cartels would be forced to compete and move their money into other areas as the price for their product dropped and their profit margins shrunk.

As the Rand Corporation predicted relative to the possible legalization of marijuana in California in 2010, the price of the drugs on the street would collapse. Only illegality makes the product expensive. Removing much of the money from the industry is the heaviest blow that can be dealt to the drug lords.

As the history of the prohibition of alcohol in the U.S. might suggest, more and more Latin American leaders are thinking that the only way to reduce the violence that plagues their countries is drug legalization. This puts them on a collision course with the U.S. government, regardless of which party is in power.

If Perez Molina and other Latin American leaders do indeed take money from the cartels, Perez Molina’s recent moves would indicate that at least some cartel owners are willing to sacrifice their current mega-profits for peace and legitimacy. It was recently reported that Zetas were living in campers so that their mobility would impede their arrest. They might prefer a house instead.

In this context, the idea of dumping the whole problem in Washington’s lap has considerable appeal to Latin American leaders located between the sources in the south and the big consumer up north. They could free resources to repress violence instead of bothering about the drugs.

Much of the rationale for the violence disappears and much of the money is taken out of the market when these products are no longer illegal. And the inherent anti-Americanism of legalization might be an issue that unites Latin American leaders across the political spectrum. Indeed, the more conservative leaders are taking the lead on this, although ex-coca grower Evo Morales is doubtless on board.

Now Perez Molina has thrown the fat on the fire in a highly public manner. If he puts it at the top of the agenda of the next meeting of regional leaders in March, expect a major freakout in Washington. The U.S. news media, almost totally fixated on the machinations of a pack of Republican losers and the corrupt U.S. presidential race, has so far ignored these loud knocking sounds on our southern door.

It is not unlikely that the U.S. will soon find itself without allies in the war on drugs and thus be compelled to adopt a wholly new approach.

6 comments:

nanakwame said...

Obama will move quickly on this and The Southern Region, after election and interesting take on LED, love fresh look at sacred cows in my bones Doc
http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/03/how-ted-makes-ideas-smaller/253994/

Ed Dunn said...

This is worthless as I believe transport of drugs will soon be done via autonomous submarines powered by GPS and solar panels with the ability to go deeper underwater to discreet American ports (like Mobile, Alabama)  and carry more kilos.  

Dale Asberry said...

Oh, no doubt. But it still has geat value -- specifically as the chokepoint is still in place and that chokepoint is where almost ALL of the profit comes from -- the US border. It will only be loosened by UxV's, x = A, G, U.

CNu said...


As the Rand Corporation predicted relative to the possible legalization of marijuana in California in 2010, the price of the drugs on the street would collapse.  


I believe that gangs continue to control the majority of supply, even where "legalization" has driven prices down - http://blogs.laweekly.com/informer/2010/12/marijuana_prices_low_1.php

Big Don said...

Ultimately, Walmart will short-circuit all the existing illegal pipeline...

CNu said...

Walmart is the main corporation that turned China into a cesspool of coal
fumes, sewage, and chemicals to produce throwaway goods, whipping the
gyre of consumption into the global tornado that's devoured the flesh of
the earth and poured trees, fish, clean water, topsoil, oil, and
metal into cheap goods. They're at the center of the vortex, keeping
it spinning, the essence of the delusion you live in. Walmart's business model cannot survive further economic collapse http://www.culturechange.org/cms/content/view/152/66/