Poll Shows Strong Support in Mexico for Drug Legalization

A BBC World Service poll released Monday found Mexicans evenly divided on the question of whether drug legalization should be considered as a solution to the nation’s problem with drug war violence. 44% of respondents agreed that legalization of drugs should be considered, while 46% disagreed. Additionally, a full 80% believed that "the government should consider seeking other alternatives to end the problem."

These results reflect widespread frustration with the increased drug trade violence triggered by President Calderon’s efforts at cracking down on traffickers. Police are being killed at alarming rates, with some even fleeing to the U.S. in search of asylum. Civilians are being massacred in shootings by police and grenade attacks by drug traffickers. Bloody botched police raids and gratuitous human rights violations by the Mexican army have terrorized the population. Affluent Mexicans are having microchips implanted in their flesh in case of kidnappings and the traffickers are driving modified James Bond-style getaway vehicles.

These are the inevitable consequences of a brutal civil war that continues to enrich powerful drug lords at the perpetual expense of peace and social order. Anyone living on the front lines of Mexico’s expansive drug war battlefield can plainly observe the contributions of Calderon’s crackdown towards increasing the bloodshed. Things didn’t get better, they got worse. That’s how this works, always.

Calderon’s drug war troop surge has now elevated the lessons of prohibition within the public consciousness. He has created an interactive national exhibit of the drug war’s horrific futility. And each passing day brings more news of destruction and death, more opportunities for the drug war faithful to finally reject the great hoax that has infected their democracy and now consumes their environment.

The drug war is not going to start working one day, so it’s no surprise that Mexicans are ready to begin discussing alternatives. Their numbers will only continue to grow. And you can bet that this conversation scares the great drug lords far more than Calderon’s corrupted drug war army ever will.
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Good to see

It's great to see that nations are becoming divided over the issue of the War on (some) Drugs! It means support is growing and soon 40% will become 50% and then 60%.

We in the US are quite lucky that we don't have to live in a country with as much tyranny as Mexico is seeing now. the ultimate purveyor of this terror is the government who creates the black market that these drug cartels thrive on. Take away the profit, no more bloodshed!

Sadly, I think that it will take the US becoming a complete war zone before Prohibition V 2.0 is repealed.

Drug Addiction

Drug peddling gives enormous money to owner and this money is being used to sponsor global terrorism. This gurrila war is a mass war. This can only be controlled by love, education and proper distribution of wealth amongst people.

Rita,

You wrote:
"This can only be controlled by love, education and proper distribution of wealth amongst people."
The only PROPER way to distribute welath amongst people is to let the FREE MARKET loose from the regulations and special interest legislation that binds it down.
What you are calling for (socialism/communism) has been shown to fail time and time again. Government has no business trying to distribute wealth equally acoss the board, it never works and in the end causes more problems than it solves, including poor productivity and shortages of necessities. Government should be so small we don't notice it except at election time, and taxes should be minimal and only for the day to day operations of that very small government. Before government got so involved in "taxing the rich to feed the poor" the poor were a much smaller percentage of the population, also that is when the greatest strides were made in innovations, inventions and overall improvement in the lives of all citizens.

Still 46% disagree.?

Maybe more blood in the streets, and corruption, will help them see that prohibition is the true gateway to tyranny and violence.

In Colombia (South America)

In Colombia (South America) a highly important justice officer, the Attorney General for Medellin (2nd city in the country), brother to the Minister of Government and Justice, is being prosecuted with five big charges including active participation in the organization of the narco paramilitary capo alias "Don Mario". Also, the brother to the Police General Chief is actually in a German prison for drug trafficking and distribution. Only two examples of many cases.

If illegal drugs money corrupts these highly educated people with brilliant careers, what is to be expected from poor people (80% in this country) with scarce opportunities, enormous needs of all kinds, and many traumas and resentments?

Corruption is only one of the many faces of this critical situation. Another one is the war on drugs: Hundreds of thousands of innocent people (including infants, pregnant women, teenagers, old people)have been killed or harmed, and the bloodshed continues each day. Four million people have been displaced from their homes by the strength of the war, THE BIGGEST DISASTER IN OCCIDENTAL COUNTRIES, two and a half hours away from the USA.

This society is falling apart in a spiral of violence, death and corruption. Or already did? This is direct consequence of PROHIBITION requested and supported by the USA Government. And without any results: illegal drugs availability in the streets of any city is growing each day.

No more poetry and romantic words.

LEGALIZATION is the only way out, actually. Help if you can anyhow. I also invite you to join the group

http://www.new.facebook.com/group.php?gid=14334219145

Vladimir G. Diaz Arbelaez

AGREE

EXACTLY!!!!!!

No more words.

Internally USA expends more than FORTY THOUSAND MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR in the war on drugs, besides the huge amount in prisons and prisoners for drug related offenses. This policy only makes the problem grow, and that money belongs to education, prevention, treatment, and society improvement.

No more words. VOTE YES! on DRUG LEGALIZATION.

Corruption....

...keeps the "drug war$" going. But the money is gone and you can't fight a war without money.So, expect some decriminalizing and downsizing soon. Sad, that common sense has little to do with ending the "drug war$".

Remember the secret cigarette connection

Mexico, like other major trading partners of the USA, follows the Drug Prohibitionist line to stay in the good graces of its "Big Brother". The USA, in turn, especially under Republican political leadership, follows the line dictated by the tobacco industry, which provides over $30 bil. per year tax bonanza from which a part is available to fund (especially anti-cannabis) "Drug War" activity. Not to mention gifts to political entities (Republican Party gets twice as much as Democratic).

Anyone who cares about freeing up the benefits of cannabis should consider boycotting Republican candidates and stores which sell tobacco products, and doing so overtly and noisily as situations warrant. The conspiracy to suppress alternatives to the hot-burning-overdose addictive nicotine cigarette is the number #1 public health issue on the planet (5.4 million tobacco deaths per year worldwide, zero cannabis). The recent fall of Lehman Brothers et al. has its silver lining in that from it we can learn to imagine, and execute, a similar collapse of Big Tobackgo, resulting in a sudden restoration of liberty worldwide especially as regards access to the benefits of hemp.

There just seems to be

There just seems to be something inherently wrong about the legalization of drugs. I know there is no easy answer and I am well aware of the problem south of the border but I don't think legalization is the answer.

things to consider about legalization

it can also be considered inherently wrong to deny people their constitutional rights (and drug prohibtion is unconstitutional)

if it is inherently wrong to legalize harmful substances (and if we consider 'harmful' only those substances that are more harmful than alcohol and tobacco), then at least marijuna should be legal

another important question is this:

What percentage of people use illicit drugs today, and what percentage of people do you estimate would use those drugs if they were legal?

There seems to be something

There seems to be something inherently wrong about giving cartels a revenue source!

Even if you ignore the "individual rights" argument, COLLECTIVELY i believe society would be better off with legalized drugs..

Al capone did NOT commit violence because he was drunk, he commit voilence because prohibition enabled great revenue..

Shouldn't we cut this revenue source away from violent gangs, and cartel?

HEROINE addicts don't commit crimes because they get high, and decide stealing is a good idea. They steal because they NEED their drug, and prohibition artificially inflated the price of the substance.

..reagarding the comment

..reagarding the comment above about who would use drugs if they were legal, and who fears legalisation most, is two groups:

the first is the obvious group mentioned in the article, the violenct criminal traffickers, as it would shut them down overnight. no more bloodshed n the streets, and likewise with small-time street dealers some of whom also engage in violent turf wars which tear apart poor neighborhoods, and the more unscrupulous of which sell to children.

so legalisation of any drug will almost elminiate underage use overnight, cutting overall use drastically in the process, not just in the short term but the longterm as well, since most drug users - like most tobacco users - start young. but drug users start younger, as tobacco requires ID to purchase, therefore though children can get it, it's *much* more difficult than procuring hard drugs, especially for the *very* young who don't at least have friends in their age range who are of purchasing age.

which leads to the second group whom - and you'll occasionally see them protesting on this very blog - wishes to see drugs - *especially* hard drugs - remain *illegal*, and that's the *hardcore addicts*, because *they* know that any legally-regulated framework for hard drugs will include - at the very least - daily purchase limits which will be too low to support an addiciton (and also too low to start one), and possiblly other buzzkills like having them administered in a clinical setting surrounded by piles of "you're sick and we want to help you" literature, instead of being able to take their stash home and kick back with friends and get high in peace and comfort.

in other words, it's a myth that the only people who want drugs legalised are addicts. the fact is that, second only to drug-warring cops and politicians - more and more of whicn *themselves* are coming around - the groups that support Prohibition the most are the very people it targets: addcits and traffickers. because the latter knows that as long as Prohibition exists, they - including minors - will have unencumbered access to their drugs of choice in unlimited quantities, and dealers and traffickers know those same people will be there to make them rich, eneabled by the very laws enacted to prevent it.

you need look no futher than alcohol Prohibition for an example of how this plays out, both pre- and post. child drinking skyrocketed. overall use increased as did problem drinking because people bought in bulk to avoid excess exposure and so had more liquor laying around, and both teenage and adult drunk driving increased correspondingly.

when alcohol Prohibition ended, these problems along with the senseless and widespread violence and loss of innocent police and civilian lives associated with the illicit trade itself vanished overnight.

addicts love it. dealers love it. unscrupulous cops and political opportunists love it.

the real victims of Probition are law-abiding citizens who, like, their roaring-20's counterparts before them, are caught in the crossfire, both physically and in the form of a ruined economy and ever-increasing deficits in the name of what amounts to a clearly-unconctitutional moral crusade to legislate people's personal habits.

parents unable to buy sufficient cold medicine for a sick family. innocent people being slain by SWAT teams based on tips from criminal informants, children able to purchase even hard drugs with the push of a button on their cell phones or a trip to the nearest street corner.

it's time to start talking about exit strategies from this shameful war on the rights of American citizens. we need to end the madness, and counterinituitive as it may seem, the only way to do that is to legalise and regulate the recreational drug market.

pot lke aclohol and tobacco, hard drugs administered either in clinical settings or in a controlled retail environment with purhcase limits and potency standards designed to accomoadate moderate use but curb addiction and reduce access by children.

there is much to be discussed, but the discussion needs to be had. and with the harm the War on Drugs has wrought and continuses to wreak on our families and communities nationwide, that that discussion can't begin soon enough.

BTW..

also regarding potential increase in drug use were they legalised, there's this from Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (www.leap.cc):

If hard drugs such as heroin or cocaine were legalized would you be likely to use them?

99% SAY "NO"

Zogby International asked that question of 1,028 likely voters. Ninety-nine out of 100 said "No." Only 0.6 percent said "Yes."1

Drug War advocates have always insisted that addiction would explode if drugs were legalized. But that argument comes apart under the weight of the evidence. While a poll can't predict actual drug use, it clearly shows that most of us avoid hard drugs because of common sense – not fear of arrest.

And that's always been the case. At the beginning of the last century when a virtual free market for drugs existed, use rates were lower than they are today. Drug use and addiction – along with crime, violence and corruption – only began to climb after the advent of drug prohibition in 1914.3

Isn't it time to end the War on Drugs? Let's turn addiction problems over to the people who dealt with them effectively before 1914 – doctors, nurses and health care professionals.

I also believe that drugs

I also believe that drugs usage probably will increase once/if drugs are legalized..

HOWEVER, the problems associated with drugs will decrease..

Overdose deaths, and deaths do to unclean substances will drop..

Theifs due to addicts stealing in order to feed their addiction will also drop.. (There would still be theifts however, the number of people that would steal would drop, and the AMOUNT they have to steal will be reduced)

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