Our ‘War on Drugs’ Has Been an Abysmal Failure. Just Look at Mexico by Simon Jenkins
Our ‘War on Drugs‘ Has Been an Abysmal Failure. Just Look at Mexicoby Simon JenkinsThe Guardian
It is wrecking the government of Mexico. It is financing the Taliban in Afghanistan. It is throwing 11,000 Britons into jail. It is corrupting democracy throughout Latin America. It is devastating the ghettoes of America and propagating Aids in urban Europe. Its turnover is some £200bn a year, on which it pays not a penny of tax.
Thousands round the world die of it and millions are impoverished. It is the biggest man-made blight on the face of the earth.No, it is not drugs. They are as old as humanity. Drugs will always be a challenge to individual and communal discipline, alongside alcohol and nicotine. The curse is different: the declaration by states that some drugs are illegal and that those who supply and use them are criminals. This is the root of the evil.By outlawing products – poppy and coca – that are in massive global demand, governments merely hand huge untaxed profits to those outside the law and propagate anarchy. Repressive regimes, such as some Muslim ones, have managed to curb domestic alcohol consumption, but no one has been able to stop the global market in heroin and cocaine.
It is too big and too lucrative, rivalling arms and oil on the international monetary exchanges. Forty years of “the war on drugs” have defeated all-comers, except political hypocrites.