The Los Angeles Times has a piece today containing suggestions from various officials for dealing with the extraordinary violence that has gripped Mexico since that country began pursuing a policy of aggressive drug prohibition. The most noteworthy remarks come from Terry Nelson, a Federal agent for 30 years with the U.S. Border Patrol, the Customs Service and the Department of Homeland Security. Nelson writes:[E]ven with the best public health efforts, there will always be some who want to use drugs, and, as long as drugs are illegal, many willing to risk imprisonment or death to make huge profits supplying them. My years of experience as a federal agent tell me that legalizing and effectively regulating drugs will stop drug market crime and violence by putting major cartels and gangs out of business.
The Department of Justice reported [this month] that Mexican cartels are America's "greatest organized crime threat" because they "control drug distribution in most U.S. cities." If what we've been doing worked at all, we wouldn't be battling Mexican drug dealers in our own cities or anywhere else. There's one surefire way to bankrupt them, but when will our leaders talk about it?