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Save the Children, Legalize Drugs

Submitted by David Borden on
Editor: Irina Alexander is vice president of University of Maryland SSDP. Too often, proponents of the War on Drugs pose the question, "What about the children?" in a misleading attempt to guilt those who rightfully believe today’s drug policies are a dismal failure. In reality, it is we who should be asking them this very question.
CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico (AP) — Twelve-year-old Alexia Belen Moreno was afraid living in her father's house in Ciudad Juarez, where drug cartels are fighting a bloody war. She begged to move in with her mother just across the border in El Paso, Texas. Her parents agreed — but asked her to stay a few more weeks to finish school.

Three days later, Alexia was shot in the head blocks from her home in broad daylight. Authorities believe she was caught in the crossfire when gunmen killed two men riding with her in a car.

Alexia's death is part of an alarming trend of children dying in Mexico's drug wars.

Mexican officials say they don't track the number of child deaths from drug-gang violence. But newspaper tallies find nearly 50 kids have been killed this year — and a code of ethics in which hit men took care to avoid harming children appears to be evaporating. [Associated Press]

I just don’t understand why it’s so hard for people to come to the simple and logical conclusion that in order to put an end to these brutal consequences, we must legalize and regulate drugs. Once there is no black market for drugs, drug cartels will have no profit to fight for. Once there is no profit, they won’t be outside on the public streets forcing people to resort to barricading themselves in their homes, praying that the few inches of wall separating their family from the gunshots will be enough to keep them safe since that’s the most they can do. Simple as that. Instead, we’ve been relying on policies that sound good while overlooking what’s really happening. Of course, the entire original attempt at keeping drugs away from children has been a complete counterproductive disaster. According to the Monitoring the Future study, 86% of 12th graders reported marijuana "very easy" or "fairly easy" to get, easier than alcohol. Fancy that. Think we could convince some drug dealers to start checking ID? Poor Alexia is now one of the countless innocent victims to the War on Drugs. As if the drug war isn’t awful enough already, now it’s shooting and killing children. What kind of a person could openly support policies that have such lethal effects? I just hope one day before it’s too late, they’ll realize what they’re doing. Unfortunately for Alexia and so many others, it's already too late.

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