Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Fred is Back!

Fred Reed is back, and about two months early if I remember correctly. He opines on the "drug war:"

To show that utter futility can, if not be fun, at least serve to pass an idle hour, let me express the common Mexican and indeed South American view of the, oh god, War on Drugs. It goes thusly:

Latin America does not have a drug problem. It has a United States problem. The problem is that Americans want drugs. The US is a huge, voracious, insatiable market for drugs. Americans very much want their brain candy. They will pay whatever they need to pay to get it. All the world knows this.

Why, Mexicans wonder, is America’s drug habit Mexico’s problem? If Americans don’t want drugs, they can stop buying them. Nobody forces anyone to use the stuff.

Fred appears to be in fine literary form, eyeball injuries notwithstanding. And a wonderful topic for his return to the digital press. I would have to say that I agree with his sentiment. The War on Drugs is a joke. It is manifestly not making the world a better place. It should be ended, with all haste. There very well may be an upsurge in the number of drug addled zombies walking the streets the day after surrender is declared, which is probably what scares the pee out of those who still support wallowing in this hopeless quagmire. There may not. But let's not pretend that the ban has done much to stem the flow of "substance." And there can be little doubt that quite a few very nasty characters have been well rewarded for their troubles in getting "substance" to us and doing some awful things in the process. All of that ends with legalization. I'm not completely without sympathy for the conservatives on this. I don't much like the stuff myself, and I've seen more than a few people mess themselves up pretty badly by indulging in this lifestyle. But as we have seen in vivid detail, banning a thing is a very different proposition from not having a thing. Legalization and prohibition each has its set of problems. Seems to me we've pretty well sampled this set. Why not try out the other for a change? Besides, I've got a lot of hobbies that might prove to be unpopular if put to a vote. A lot of people do. Americans are supposed to be above putting one another's activities up for referendum. How about the US and Mexico strike a deal: America legalizes drugs, Mexico legalizes guns? Sounds like a win-win to me, and a big lose for the bad guys.

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