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Feb-25-2010 12:46printcomments

U.S.-Mexico Drug Summit Fails to Acknowledge Obvious Solution to Violent Drug Cartels

Ending Marijuana Prohibition Would Deal Crucial Blow to Mexican Drug Cartels, Drastically Reduce Border Violence.

Dead gunman in Mexico
Dead gunman in Mexico

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - Today, high-ranking officials from the United States and Mexico concluded a three-day conference meant to outline ways the two nations could reduce the illicit drug trade-associated violence that continues to plague the U.S.-Mexican border.

Unfortunately, officials concluded their talks without making any reference to the most sensible and guaranteed strategy for reducing that violence: removing marijuana from the criminal market, and depriving drug cartels of their main source of income and strife.

“The only solution to the current crisis is to tax and regulate marijuana,” said Aaron Houston, director of government relations for the Marijuana Policy Project. “Once again, Mexican and U.S. officials are ignoring the fact that the cartels get 70 percent of their profits from marijuana. It’s time to face the reality that the U.S.’s marijuana prohibition is fueling a bloodbath in Mexico and the United States.”

The Obama administration has said it will provide the Mexican government with a $1.4 billion aid package to combat the Mexican drug cartels, in addition to seeking $310 million in its 2011 budget for drug enforcement aid to Mexico.

“It is illogical, at best, to continue throwing money at this failed policy,” Houston said. “The government will never eliminate the demand for marijuana, but it can put an end to the monopoly drug cartels currently hold on America’s largest cash crop. Lifting marijuana prohibition would take away the cartels’ largest source of income and the main reason for the horrifically brutal violence perpetrated by rival drug groups.”

Last year, the Mexican border city Juarez recorded 2,670 homicides. Among the growing numbers of voices calling for an end to marijuana prohibition in order to stem the violence are former Mexican presidents Vicente Fox and Ernesto Zedillo, as well as the former leaders of Brazil and Colombia.

Source: The Marijuana Policy Project, the largest marijuana policy reform organization in the United States.

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jose May 18, 2011 8:30 am (Pacific time)

that is bad

douglas benson February 26, 2010 5:44 am (Pacific time)

I must call bull*@#% . Meth cocaine and heroin are the money makers here .You wouldnt put much of a dent in the cartels profit that hasnt allready been taken by those overgrowing the goverment . The CIA learned thier lesson ,now thier participation stops at the border .Less profit but no messy media like Freeway Ricky . But lets get real thier main profits have been Meth{allmost all of it comes from mexico now 95% Im sure] cocaine and heroin for a very long time .

Jeff Kaye~ February 25, 2010 1:52 pm (Pacific time)

I really had hopes for Obama, but he turned out to be just another crooked politician on the take, or else just doesn't have the gonads to stand up to the hard line prohibitionist pressure. Or the strength of character to back up his campaign rhetoric. "The war on drugs has been an utter failure... We need to rethink and decriminalize our marijuana laws". Exactly right, but no peep of that commonsense approach since. Look who he chose for his Veep, for chrissakes. "Mandatory Minimun" Joe Biden. All the folks who supported him just for his apparent forward thinking on this crucial issue are getting pretty disgusted with his procrastination, backsliding and "Bush"iness as usual approach to a complex problem with a simple answer. RESCHEDULE already!

johnny1 February 25, 2010 1:04 pm (Pacific time)

1.4 billion ? to mexico to fight the drug? Americans are foreclosing on their houses , being persecuted for a plant and this is going to help who? legalize it , tax it , shut it!

johnny1 February 25, 2010 1:02 pm (Pacific time)

1.4 billion ? to mexico to fight the drug? Americans are foreclosing on their houses , being persecuted for a plant and this is going to help who? legalize it , tax it , shut it!

Ersun Warncke February 25, 2010 1:02 pm (Pacific time)

Don't forget this little thing called a "recession" that is going on. Rural farmers in Oregon and the U.S. could certainly use a high value cash crop to add to their mix at this time. Every farmer should be asking why it is that the public's marijuana dollars are going to international drug traffickers instead of into their own pockets.

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