In December of 2006, Mexico’s new President Felipe Calderón declared war on the drug cartels, reversing earlier government passiveness. Since then, the government has made some gains, but at a heavy price – gun battles, assassinations, kidnappings, fights between rival cartels, and reprisals have resulted in over 9,500 deaths since December 2006 – over 5,300 killed last year alone. President Barack Obama recently announced extra agents were being deployed to the border and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton heads to Mexico today to pursue a broad diplomatic agenda – overshadowed now by spiraling drug violence and fears of greater cross-border spillover. Officials on both sides of the border are committed to stopping the violence, and stemming the flow of drugs heading north and guns and cash heading south.
I know it may sound naïve, but I have to wonder if a lot of the residual violence would be quelled if marijuana were made legal.1 I know drugs aren’t the only reason for border control, but I also wonder if the border situation would be different too. I believe enough in the power of the free market that it could regulate the—shall we say—more colorful characters in the industry.
Or maybe I’ve just been watching too much Weeds. Seriously, that show is funny, but I’m left after watching season 4 with a vague uneasiness. I think it got to me, that there are actually people out there whose lives become wholly consumed by the drug profession.
- I’m certainly not eager to try it out, for the record. ↩