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January 07, 2010

How Two Losing Wars Might End

Two discrete drug wars are being waged along our border with Mexico; one, the futile American “war” on drugs, is relatively bloodless, but it’s the underlying cause of the other, which is setting new records for bloodshed: the one involving rival Mexican cartels and hapless Mexican government forces over control of the increasingly lucrative smuggling corridors through which low grade Mexican weed is delivered to our still-growing domestic market. Improbable as it might have seemed at the height of the crack epidemic in the Eighties, weed now leads all other illegal drugs in return on investment. If there’s a better measure of drug war futility, I have yet to hear of it.

Another failing American war, the one on terror, almost completely displaced both Mexico and pot from the front pages over the Holidays, but at least one detailed analysis cited drug war futility and its links to both Mexican violence and America’s hunger for marijuana. Somewhat ironically, it appeared in the conservative Wall Street Journal, and although it didn’t cite the medical benefits of pot, now being reduced by its illegality, it did give an accurate description of how profits from illegal markets encourage violence and lure disposable low-level players into violent distribution networks (just like Prohibition in Capone's Chicago).

Lest anyone think “legalization” of any illegal drug will happen overnight, the only legislative body on Earth with the power to do that is the Congress of the United States; on the other hand, 2011 will mark the first year of pot-smoking baby boomers' Medicare eligibility. If there are as many of them as I suspect, Congress should finally start getting the message. It also makes it likely that "marijuana" will be the first "drug of abuse" to be legalized; not because it is "soft," but because it is an effective palliative medication for so many of its users.

Who knows? Another benefit of legal pot might even be a reduced Medicare budget as pot smoking geezers gain access to cheaper and more effective medicines than the ones offered by the Big Pharma cartel.

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at January 7, 2010 06:04 PM