Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Transnational Drug Trafficking Act of 2011

They have got to be kidding me. I just read this press release on Senator Diane Feinstein’s website, dated from September of last year. If you didn’t know (I didn’t), Senator Feinstein is the Chairman of The Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control . Here is a link to information on that as well. They tell me the modern fight against drugs began over 100 years ago when we acquired the Philippines. For the life of me, I can’t remember who “they” are though and the use of that word just sounds paranoid, doesn’t it? Anyways, I believe she means well. I believe most politicians probably do mean well at some point in their careers. There’s just no way that any of those tougher laws will amount to a measurable change in the problem. I would define the problem as three-fold:
1) Violence by cartels over control of supply routes has been brutal and steady for a couple years now. Law enforcement can do little even if they are not corrupt which they most certainly are. This is a nasty sort of violence with entire families being decapitated. Video is available. This is a much bigger problem than potential ODs or car crashes, in my opinion.
2) One way outflows of money from the US to Mexico (during a recession, no less) that is creating wealth to the tune of billions of dollars. A rich enemy has better equipment and more sophisticated operations, meaning they will become more powerful and harder to remove. The state can’t afford to do much because of unemployment  and no more tax dollars yet we send millions across the border to stay. None of it gets taxed.
3) Demand by the US for narcotics is at the root of the aforementioned problems. If we didn’t do dope (and they told us not to)(Holy crap was that “they” again? I knew they were following me!), if we had just paid better attention to that DARE program, or if we weren’t so collectively weak-minded, there would be no demand or it would be minimal, thereby fixing the problem. (highly unlikely to happen even if we had unlimited funds for rehab)
  Here’s my point to the Senator and anyone else looking to do something about trafficking. The “get tough” attitude is great for publicity but hasn’t worked for over 100 years. At what point are we allowed to laugh when offered the same solution that hasn’t worked…..ever? Now if you just want to be popular and get reelected then don’t read the rest. Ok I don’t know how to break this news in the right manner but harsher penalties, more resources, and more money are not going to do anything to curb the violence in Mexico. For one, the people you are dealing with are born into the trade. It's not a lifestyle choice, it's family. Corruption in law enforcement there is old and deeply entrenched. The cartels and the cops need each other. The other reason is the demand for drugs is high in the US. No escalation of police efforts or increases in penalties have curbed our appetite. I don't need to do research or statistical analysis to figure out that as ephedrine got harder to get, the violence in Mexico increased.  You took away the ephedrine. Now Mexico produces and controls all the speed. We have to buy it from them because we have to buy it. You can try with everything you have to get people clean and reduce demand but there is a subset of people that cannot or will not give up drugs. The potential for even life in prison does not deter them. They will always have to buy drugs from somewhere.

The state of California and the entire US would be best served to flood southern California with barrels of ephedrine. No press, no fanfare; just quietly flood the state with ephedrine. The people of this state will know what to do with it, rest assured.
You may think that's a ridiculous and absurd solution(and since there is no press involved, it is an absurd solution for an elected official, for there would not really be any recognition or money for accomplishing anything, only spiritual dollars) but it would accomplish a few things. First the money would stay here. The biggest drug economy in the world is here, and in a recession, we are shipping our money to Mexico. The only thing we do supply to them are the guns and some of the vehicles. Bringing ephedrine back into this country would decrease demand for Mexican speed because we could make it here. Decrease in demand means trade routes are less valuable. Less valuable means less violence. Making methamphetamine cheap and plentiful will not stop the cartels (they still have heroin and coke) but it will be enough to slow their roll.
In the end, what's the alternative? Tougher laws and more aid to the Mexican military to stop the drugs? It won’t happen. Think about it. You can throw the entire US army and billions of dollars at it and unless you are willing to literally treat Mexico like Afghanistan or Iraq, complete with drones bombing suspected cartel members right on the freeway, there will be no solution.These guys aren't going to surrender and no one from Mexico who is willing to flaunt their laws is scared of a US prison.
So, really, at what point can we address “tougher laws” as the comedy (or tragedy) it is?

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