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December 2008
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If wishes were horses

CBS news has been pushing this Mexico Drug War story: Brutal Drug War Fueled By U.S. Appetite.
From the headline, you can see where it’s headed, and, sure enough…

Bill Gore has witnessed the carnage, first as the FBI Special Agent in Charge in San Diego, now as the county’s undersheriff. He says American drug users should realize they have blood on their hands.
“This is not a victimless crime,” Gore said. “That people are dying, literally hundreds of them, on the streets of Tijuana, so they can have their recreational drugs on this side of the border.”

Do drug users have blood on their hands? Um, no. It is American lawmakers who have blood on their hands. They are the ones who have fueled this violence. They are the ones committing the victimfull crimes. Drug users could have all the drugs they want on this side of the border without a single person in Mexico needing to die, if it wasn’t for the lawmakers.
Just suppose that water was made illegal. The violence involved in the distribution of water would be unbelievable. Would those who use water have blood on their hands? Of course not — it would be the morons who outlawed water. (Although the users of water would probably be in their rights to get lawmakers’ blood on their hands.)
Not that water and marijuana or cocaine are the same — of course not — but the principles of what happens when you outlaw an easily produced commodity in high demand are the same.
It is true that there are two ways to get rid of black market violence.

  1. Convince all drug users everywhere to stop using drugs forever.
  2. Legalize and regulate drugs

However, #1 is just a fantasy. People have always used drugs. They always will. #2 requires political will and smart solutions. #1 requires… magic.
So it’s easy for Bill Gore to complain about drug users, but it’s meaningless and unproductive. It’s like him complaining: “If it wasn’t for gravity, my men wouldn’t keep falling off this cliff to their death.” Well, like it or not, gravity exists, so maybe people like Gore should look to other solutions, like not marching them off the cliff.

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