The horrific reports of the Mother’s Day massacre in Mexico was, to the say the least, revolting. The last count that I saw was that at as many as 70 people were hacked to death with various forms of dismemberment inflicted on their corpses. All were apparently beheaded making identification more difficult.
Now the Federales in Mexico are certain that one drug cartel inflicted this carnage on another. So we might sit back and say, “Well, who really cares? These are bad people engaged in a bad business.” In fact, some of us might say, “Wouldn’t it be a great thing if they all wiped each other out? Then we wouldn’t have people making and distributing all these drugs?”
Setting aside the moral question of judging another person’s right to live, this line of thinking misses an obvious point. This is a big and very profitable business and were the present players in it eliminated, it would be a matter of Nano-seconds before some opportunistic individuals took their place.
Our experiment with Prohibition proved that when people desire something, whether or not it is legal, there will be a way to obtain it. That was true of alcohol, which of course is legal again, and it is true of drugs in their many forms. To ignore this fact is to bury our heads in the sand.
Do drugs destroy lives? The untimely and apparently self-inflicted hanging death yesterday of Mary Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Jr.’s first wife is a case study for the argument that says, “Yes” to that question. This lady had a long battle with both alcohol and drugs – and they ultimately claimed her life. This is a tragedy and an unfortunate part of the human existence for some of us.
Most of us probably believe that the drugs which we declare “illegal” are so bad that they should be banned. I have to say that, while I agree that they are bad, the consequences of so categorizing them may have worse effects than the drugs themselves. To make this case I would point, in part, to the Mother’s Day Massacre in Mexico.
The United States of America spends hundreds of millions of dollars a year fighting a war on drugs which are presently illegal. The reason for this battle is that we are the major consumers of these products and they regularly find their ways across our southern borders and are distributed throughout our nation. Precisely because they are illegal – they are expensive – which makes their providers very wealthy people.
If they were legalized and dispensed through government outlets, they would sell for a small fraction of their current cost – making the business of being in the drug trade far less lucrative. Instead of continuing to pour hundreds of millions of dollars a year into a black hole fighting a battle that we are obviously not only not winning but not breaking even on, we could find a new revenue source to help out our failing recovery and regulate (a word my liberal friends like to use) the dispensation of this commodity.
Of course the fear is that if they were available at a smaller cost, wouldn’t more people want to start taking and using them? There is certainly that possibility. But I would argue that many people take drugs simply because they are illicit and because there is, in there minds, a certain sexiness about them for that reason only. Take that away and they might lose their interest in them entirely.
In the end, whether a person chooses to use or abstain from drugs is a matter of his own choice. They are obviously available – and whether we choose to partake of that availability is up to each of us.
But as the main consumer of the drugs which the Mexican cartels concoct, it seems clear to me that the answer to the question of “Who is killing off the drug cartels of Mexico?” is a simple one.