If I was President… of Colombia

At Colombia Reports: The biggest loser in the presidential campaign is the war on drugs

The article discusses the problems with the war on drugs in Colombia and Mexico, and then talk about the close race for replacing Uribe as President.

Colombia’s presidential candidates need to have a good, long think about what a post-Uribe drugs policy will look like. […]

So, from Santos to Mockus to Sanin, all would do well to answer the following questions – if elected, how would their government work on purging the judicial system and building the rule of law, so that people arrested for drug trafficking would be successfully prosecuted and successfully contained in prison? How would they better root out corruption in police and intelligence forces? How would they crack down on money laundering and arms trafficking? […]

True, as long as North Americans and Europeans want to put white powder up their noses, the drug war is never going to end. But what can be done, is to reduce the amount of power and control that the cartels exert over Colombian (and Mexican) society. How do Santos, Mockus and company exactly aim to do this? I hope it becomes a more profoundly discussed topic in the next few weeks. [emphasis added]

Well, I’d like to answer that question.

I’m assuming that Colombia has some kind of residency requirement to become a Presidential candidate, so it might be difficult for me to actually throw my Chicago Cubs hat in the ring. But if I could…

On my first day in office, I would announce that the cartels in Colombia were free to grow all the coca they wish, process it, and sell it as cocaine outside the country, as long as they didn’t destroy rainforest for cultivation, use violence or terror against Colombian citizens, or interfere with Colombian government activities.

We would also ignore any violent conflicts over territory as long as the violence was kept away from innocents.

Any cartel that used violence would be fair game for government retaliation, but as long as they played along with the new rules, they’d be able to rake in the black market cash and be free of hassle. I’d also encourage them to spend that foreign money locally to infuse the economy.

Yes, I would be a cartel-enabler.

And then I’d say to the U.S. “OK, the ball’s in your court.”

The United States would get really pissed at me, and threaten sanctions, cuts in foreign aid, etc., but I’d throw it right back at them, and make moving speeches about how Colombia was no longer going to be the cesspool for failed United States drug policy.

I’d make it clear that the United States can’t continue to bury its head in the sand regarding real alternatives to failed policy, while forcing us to draft our citizens into cannon fodder to fuel its war.

I think the citizens might back me.

… and there’s be one real sh*t-storm in Washington that I’d love to see.

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9 Responses to If I was President… of Colombia

  1. Nick says:


    I’d back you here.

  2. daksya says:

    and there’s be one real sh*t-storm in Washington that I’d love to see

    ..followed by a regime change, maybe.

  3. kaptinemo says:

    If it weren’t for the oil – which is the real reason for our involvement there – you might get away with it. Uncle Sam’s got too many irons in too many fire, and now he cannot afford to keep the forge going.

    The drug policy wonks in Warshington are still living in economic cloud-cuckooland, still thinking we can afford a DrugWar when we can’t even afford to feed and shelter our unemployed. A dangerous blind-spot that’s getting bigger by the day.

    When things get really bad here, the Central and South American countries that have been the recipients of DeeCee’s ‘tender mercies’ regarding drug policy will begin to do something very similar, and start re-legalizing drugs again. With Uncle’s imperial influence on the wane, they don’t have much to lose.

  4. Price says:

    If they cut a deal with the cartels there would be no need for foreign aid. They might make you King instead of just President.

  5. kant says:

    I’m not sure the US would only put sanctions on Columbia if that happen. I have a strong feeling that we would come up with some sort of pretext for war. “President Guither has WMD’s!” or “President Guither is slaughter his population by the thousands!” or even “President Guither isn’t the legitimate head of state, he’s just another Cartel Boss, we must go to war to save the people of Columbia!”

  6. Revolution Starter says:

    That’s a great idea and it should be noted that in developing countries production of various drugs would be a much needed source of income, not just for the families but the country as well. Coca in South America and opium in various other places are traditional and easy to grow crops that have a real and significant value, much more so than other options.

    The profit margins are such that the farmers would be able to earn a real income to support there families. Taxes, percentages of sales or, even kickbacks if you want to call them that could be arraigned to help build schools, hospitals and, roads. This could all be done in a very safe and controlled manner if the US would either step out of the way or encourage it. Something of this nature could really change the world view of the US, but regardless of that it is a real and feasible solution to our current problems that would provide a real benefit.

    This could be done with or without being put into law and there are examples of cartel leaders doing similar on there own.

  7. Cindy says:

    Asprin kills more people than marijuana, and thats a fact. Marijuana presents no chance for overdose, has never in the history of man kind ever killed anyone and has multiple medical benifits. If the gov really cared about the drugs that do damage, they wouldnt be spending the bulk of their billion dollar budgets going after harmless pot. They dont seem to care as much about tobbaco (400,000 deaths per year) or alcohol (200,000 deaths per year) anywhere near as much as something that hurts no one? Ya its more than obvious that there is more to it, and seeing how it became illegal in the first place, and the destruction and death that prohibition causes makes it even more obvious that this is a failed poicy that we simply can not afford anymore.

    I’m voting to legalize marijuana/cannabis/hemp in November!

  8. Just me says:

    Thats beautiful Pete! Might as well do the job for washington. They ARE enabling the cartels. Might as well take a peice of their action. They certainly arent going to do a damned thing to stop these cartels, and certainly arent doing anything rational right now….well we knmow why….big money, but thats another story ……

    Bet the cartels would love to sign that agreement, wipe their ass with it, then send it on to washington.

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