Tim Padgett of Time Magazine posted an article on Time's website calling for the legalization of drugs here in the US and for fighting corporate monopolies. For years, the US has been pouring taxpayer dollars into Colombia to interdict the drug cartel there. The reason that it is finally bearing fruit is because Colombia reformed its police and its legal institutions. If the Mexican government can do the same in its country, it is well on the path to replicating the success in Colombia.
Padgett notes that Mexico has a new President whose main focus will be not so much on the war on drugs but on cracking down on corporate monopolies in his country. Our lawmakers realized as early as 1800 that corporate monopolies were bad for business in this country. That is why they passed laws busting the trusts and filed lawsuits to break up companies that were "too big to fail." Now, Mexico is doing the same.
Padgett thinks that this will create headway. I would say that it would for the simple reason that it would create the rule of law in Mexico. It would develop their economy by creating competition and thus creating jobs in that country. That way, people would not turn to the underground drug industry because they have no other places to turn. Their example bears lessons for ours -- the more free enterprise that we can create through competition and not monopolies, the more jobs that we can create and the less likely people will turn to the illegal drug industry.
Furthermore, if the US does its part by legalizing pot, it would cut $10 billion out of revenue from the drug cartels from Mexico, Padgett explains:
As for what happened on election day last fall in the U.S., if I were Peña Nieto I’d urge Obama to do on the federal level what the states of Colorado and Washington did: legalize marijuana. (Mexico should do the same, by the way.) That would do two things: First, deprive Mexico’s drug cartels of more than a third of the $30 billion or so they make each year. Second, save the U.S. the estimated $10 billion it wastes every year chasing down a drug that’s no more harmful than alcohol when used in moderation. It can then steer that money to drug-demand reduction efforts like rehab services, which studies show do more to ease the drug plague than conventional supply-side interdiction does.Legalizing pot would create more free enterprise, create a bigger tax base for the government so that we could raise revenues and address the deficit without tax increases. It would also create more jobs and allow us to make headway on the U6 rate -- which measures people who have dropped out of the labor force or who are underemployed. It has declined from 17% three years ago to 13.9%; however, that rate is still unacceptably high. Judges could still require people under probation not to use pot and we can enforce laws already on the books against driving under the influence. For hard drugs, we could set up specialized drug courts in every judicial circuit that would require offenders to complete treatment programs; these have been shown to decrease demand more than interdiction does.
Polls show that 35% of Mexicans would consider moving to the US, including 20% who would consider doing it illegally. If the Mexican government follows through on its goal to break up corporate monopolies, then they will considerably drop that number as more and more people will see a better chance to earn a livelihood in Mexico as opposed to moving to the US.