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Obama Supports Mexico's Drug War Crackdown

Nowhere is the failure of drug prohibition more obvious than in Mexico, where President Calderon's crackdown has already produced over 4,000 deaths, without making a dent in the drug trade.

Yet Obama now joins John McCain in praising Mexico's brutal and ineffective anti-drug efforts:

Mexican drug cartels are terrorizing cities and towns. President Calderon was right to say that enough is enough. We must support Mexico’s effort to crack down. []

I don't know how anyone can look at the dismal state of the Mexican drug war and find anything to be proud of. Still, I agree with Pete Guither who responded to Obama's comments by pointing out that we just can't expect a realistic drug policy platform from the major party candidates. They're not there yet.

Obama's good positions on needle exchange, medical marijuana, and sentencing have drawn interest from reformers, but there's simply no way to paint his praise of Mexico's bloody drug war crusade as anything other than typical prohibitionist "troop surge" rhetoric. It's the opposite of what's needed and it should give us pause before endorsing the popular perception among reformers that Obama "gets" the drug war issue.

When describing his plans to fund drug war activity in Central and South America, Obama says "we'll tie our support to clear benchmarks for drug seizures, corruption prosecutions, crime reduction, and kingpins busted," demonstrating a fundamental failure to grasp how those activities complement one another. Crime and violence will simply increase if enforcement increases, so any set of benchmarks will ultimately have to ignore one category or the other.

In regards to both Obama and McCain, however, we've got to recognize that ending violence in the international drug trade is the final stage of drug policy reform. It's the very last issue we'll have to confront and the last one about which we're likely to hear interesting or forward-thinking proposals from prominent politicians. There's no middle ground here. When we're ready to end violence and corruption in the drug trade, we'll stop waging the drug war.

(This blog post was published by's lobbying arm, the Drug Reform Coordination Network, which also shares the cost of maintaining this web site. DRCNet Foundation takes no positions on candidates for public office, in compliance with section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and does not pay for reporting that could be interpreted or misinterpreted as doing so.)

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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His policy is good except for one thing...

... what's going to happen to all that money to be made?

Neolib/neocon... really,

Neolib/neocon... really, what's the difference?

Isn't this the same guy that

Isn't this the same guy that was against an open-ended war in Iraq that had a large body count and no end in sight? And he's for one that's just on the other side of our border? No wonder I'm gonna vote for a write-in candidate. I can't believe he's so hypocritical. And here he's ADMITTED that he's done drugs in the past, but he can't realize that except for a fluke chance of luck, he'd be in prison with other "brothas", and not running for President of the USA.

Re: fluke chance of luck

It isn't that hard for the vast majority of drug users to avoid arrest.

At least We the People will make history having two presidents back-to-back who did weed and blow. The fact that John McCain has only done booze and still parts his hair perfectly just shows how out of touch he is with The American People.

Bad news

[email protected],Vancouver,B.C.Canada Mexico sheds the blood but we all know who's pulling the trigger.You can't expect foreign governments who receive boatloads of cash to prosecute the drug war to turn their backs on all that cash.Calderone was the same guy that eliminated the penalties for possession of small amounts of any drug in Mexico.You have to know there's tremendous pressure from Washington asking him to stem the flow and paying him by the head.If Obama continues the drug war he will be the biggest hypocrite in history.Let's wait and see before casting stones.

Obama is a drug war monger

"Obama's good positions on needle exchange, medical marijuana, and sentencing have drawn interest from reformers, but there's simply no way to paint his praise of Mexico's bloody drug war crusade as anything other than typical prohibitionist "troop surge" rhetoric. It's the opposite of what's needed and it should give us pause before endorsing the popular perception among reformers that Obama "gets" the drug war issue."

Looking closely at Obama's actual statements on these reform issues leaves an objective mind confused at best as to his real positions. He is as good at lawyer talk and redefining "it" as any Clinton has ever been.

In terms of sentencing inequities all he says that will treat white kids like black kids in the criminal justice system.

His values on social justice and public health issues are based on expedience not values.

I have never liked Obama because he is a Democrat and he spouts the Democrat Jim Crow party line on the war on drugs.

Cynthia McKinney actually opposes the war on drugs. Drug war position

A vote for McKinney will not be a vote for the winner. Since neither of the major party potential "winners" reflects or respects my social justice values voting for the major party candidates is no win for me. A vote for McKinney will be a vote for your values. Obama and McCain will never learn about our opposition to the war on drugs if WE do not vote those values. Support and vote for anti war on drugs candidates. It the only way that the Democrats and Republicans will ever learn of the depth and dedication there is to ending the Jim Crow war on drugs.

Change? NO!

More of the same is not change.A two party system is not about change. The average citizen is not about change, just comfort.I'm afraid were in for MORE OF THE SAME,only ...different,kinda, sorta.

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