Thu, 08/05/2010 - 23:10
Is President Calderon ready to discuss drugs legalization?
Marihuana plants: Photo from nautilus
After almost four years that President Felipe Calderon launched unilaterally the war against the drug cartels and the organized crime, and defined it as a face to face fight. President Calderon told the Mexican society, back then, that this war was necessary to bring back peace and security in the country, but that has not been the case for many, where the fierce fighting between the drug cartels for territory and clashes with federal police forces and the army is underway; their lives have changed drastically. Their daily lives is a complete nightmare, they live in constant fear, not knowing if they or a loved one will return home safe and sound or get killed in the middle of a crossfire of a shootout. This fight have claimed, according to the Center for Research and National Security, the Mexican Intelligence Agency (CISEN), twenty eight thousand lives. It seems that finally president Calderon is open to suggestions.
Car bomb in downtown Ciudad Juárez (Viewer Discretion Is Adivised)
YouTube user JAREZVIOLENTOO This video contains images of local Canal 5 TV
During the meeting “Dialogue for Security: Assessment and Strengthening, held this week in Mexico City, President Calderon listened to the points of views of a group of security experts, civil activists, academics and journalists regarding to the war on drugs.
On Monday, Eduardo Gallo, president of the civil organization “México Unido Contra la Delincuencia” (Mexico united against crime), suggested to President Calderon to legalize drugs as plan B in face of the imminent failure of plan A, which is underway. Maria Elena Morera, president of the civil organization “Causa Común” (Common Cause) and journalist and writer Héctor Ágilar Camín, backed up this proposal, while the academic, Ana Laura Magaloni raised the question, what will Mexico do, if the legalization in California advanced. In that same sense, Miguel Molina, advisor of the CISEN, went beyond, by saying “the legalization of the marihuana will be approve in November in California, what are we going to do? What will happen to the market with this product legalized for its use and is produce in Mexico?”
Despite that president Calderon showed willingness to open a serious and in-depth debate, is obviously that he is not fully agree with this option. In that same meeting, he expressed his concern that with the legalization of drugs the consumption will increase, mainly within the youth and teenagers, due to the imminent price reduction of these, and it could give as well the idea that the consumption of these substances is socially accepted.
What is worrying, is that President Calderon sees the increasing violence is unavoidable and that is part of the fight against the criminal organizations. This was reflected, when he got upset when the experts started to comment the failure of the current strategy and they urged him to change it to one that doesn’t maximize the violence, because they consider that violence is not unavoidable. President Calderon just responded with a question “What countries have made that miracle, to have a problem and to maximize security, to have the power to reduce the criminals and not have violence?”
Shootout in the surroundings of the TEC University in Monterrey
YouTube user NarcotraficoenMexico: Two students were killed inside the university campus.
Personally, I do believe that the legalization of drugs is a positive step, at least to reduce and eventually put end to the violence in the country. The production, distribution and sale should be controlled by the State. Regarding to President Calderon concern, that it will increase the consumption within the youth, obviously the legalization should go hand in hand with a well structured prevention program created by the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education and civic prevention organizations, to be taught at school, as well as a prevention campaign in the media. Most of all, the State has to recognized that drug addiction is a sickness and for that reason is a public health problem, therefore the government is obliged to help drug addicts to receive a good rehab in the best conditions, instead of seeing them as criminals. In the long run, I’m quit sure that this will eventually reduce the demand for drugs. I really hope that this debate will truly be discusses seriously and in-depth, and not be use for political purposes.
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