What should be done about the Cartels?

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What should be done about the Cartels?

Interested-in-Solutions
This post was updated on .
Just about everyone would agree that there is a problem. Even the people that support the cartels.

Beheading people, kidnapping people, raping people... acting like animals. Behaving that way kills a little part of your soul every time you take another's.

So what should be done?


Some people talk about legalizing drugs in the US. If so which ones? While this would most definitely help the situation with the cartels, and would also help alleviate the financial crisis in the US, dramatically reduce crime, and save lives, it will not automatically end the cartels (although it may be the best option we have).

Still, legalization is somewhat a moot point anyways as very few politicians would be willing to take the risk to do this, and there are not enough public groups that are advocating for this.

Other people talk about declaring a number of the Cartels as terrorist organizations: http://foxnewsinsider.com/2011/04/05/should-mexican-drug-cartels-be-considered-terrorist-organizations/


When I looked up suggestions about how to address this problem, about 90% of the responses concluded that legalization of a number of drugs would run most of the cartels out of business due to economics. I am not so sure that it would be this easy, but this may be the best option that we have.

What do you think is the best option for dealing with the Mexican drug cartels?
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Re: What should be done about the Cartels?

Interested-in-Solutions
Here is an interesting article that was posted in Foreign Affairs magazine about why legalization of drugs could not be the only solution to this problem. Clearly legalization would not solve the problem, but it most certainly would help.

Obtaining global cooperation to combat the legal dealings that are tied with Cartel operations would also help.

So would getting the UN to step in and help.

Another idea that was thrown around this forum almost in jest is to get massive amounts of lie detectors for Mexico. I think that would actually be a great idea. Having lie detecter reviews of all officials and police multiple times a year would really help.

I say all of these steps should be taken.


Legalizing Drugs Won't Stop Mexico's Brutal Cartels
BY ELIZABETH DICKINSON |JUNE 22, 2011
http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/06/22/legalizing_drugs_wont_stop_mexicos_brutal_cartels


Across Latin America, intellectuals, scholars, and even policymakers are increasingly arguing that there is just one thing that can bring an end to the narco-troubles: the decriminalization of the drug trade in the United States. Legalize and regulate use, proponents argue, and prices would drop and the illicit trade would disappear overnight. Cartels would be starved of their piece of the global illicit drug pie, which the UNODC has estimated at some $320 billion per year.
 
But would legalization really work? With each day that passes, it looks like it wouldn't be enough, for one overarching reason: The cartels are becoming less like traffickers and more like mafias. Their currency is no longer just cocaine, methamphetamines, or heroin, though they earn revenue from each of these products. As they have grown in size and ambition, like so many big multinational corporations, they have diversified. The cartels are now active in all types of illicit markets, not just drugs.

"Mexico is experiencing a change with the emergence of criminal organizations that, rather than being product-oriented -- drug trafficking -- are territorial based," says Antonio Mazzitelli, head of the UNODC office in Mexico City. They now specialize in running protection rackets of all kinds, he says, which might explain why the violence has gotten so bad: Mafias enforce their territorial control by force, killing anyone who resists or gets in the way.
 
"Before, we had organized crime, but operating strictly in narcotrafficking," adds Eduardo Guerrero Gutiérrez, a consultant and former advisor to the Mexican presidency. "Now we have a type of mafia violence ... and they are extorting from the people at levels that are incredibly high -- from the rich, from businesses." For this reason, Mazzitelli says, legalization would have "little effect."
 
Cartels such as the Zetas and La Familia, long categorized as drug-trafficking organizations, have transformed themselves into territorial overlords. With distinctive zones of influence, complex organizations, and a wealth of manpower on which to draw, they act as shadow governments in the areas they control, collecting "taxes" on local establishments and taking a cut of the profits from illegal immigration to the United States. "This fight is not solely or primarily to stop drug trafficking," Mexican President Felipe Calderón told the U.S. Congress in May 2010. "The aim is to ensure the safety of Mexican families, who are under threat of abuse and wanton acts of criminals."
 
The cartels' expansion may have begun through their everyday narcotrafficking work -- namely through money laundering, one of the most discussed topics in Mexican politics today. Once upon a time, this was quite easy to do; cartels could wire the money in convoluted ways or open new accounts to which individuals would report earnings from businesses that existed only on paper.

But as the government cracked down in recent years, the cartels got more creative. In June 2010, Mexican authorities put strict limits on how much cash any individual could deposit into a bank on any given day or in any given month. They also limited the amount of cash one could use to buy things like airplanes or cars. So the cartels started engaging in actual trade, which helps them launder their drug profits, explains Shannon O'Neil, a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington. They buy consumer goods, such as televisions and perfumes, in the United States and sell them on the Mexican side at a loss. The revenues are "clean" money. And as a bonus, the cartels have a network of vendors ready and willing to sell illicit goods.
 
Other markets are entirely separate from the narcotics business. Perhaps the most dramatic example is oil, one of Mexico's largest exports and increasingly a vehicle for illicit trade. On June 1, the country's national oil company, Pemex, filed a lawsuit accusing nine U.S. companies of colluding with criminals linked to the drug trade to sell as estimated $300 million worth of stolen oil since 2006. That's an amount equal to the entire cocaine market in Mexico, says UNODC's Mazzitelli. In other words, if the cocaine trade dried up, the cartels would still have access to an equally large source of revenue.
 
Equally troubling is the firearms trade, which has a direct link both to the violence and to the sustainment of the criminal organizations working across this country of 107 million. There are no reliable estimates of just how big this market is, but according to a recent U.S. Senate investigation, some 87 percent of the weapons used by the cartels are sourced from the United States. "If this were Southeast Asia, they'd be bombing the gun stores in Arizona, as if that's the Ho Chi Minh trail," says Ted Lewis, head of the human rights program at Global Exchange.
 
Mexico's cartels have also infiltrated the government and security forces, though primarily at a local level. "Just going by all the reports -- academic and media -- we could safely assume that all municipal police departments are infiltrated," argues Walter McKay, a security consultant who has spent the last three years working in Mexico. "But it's not just the police. We focus on police and police corruption, but the entire apple is rotten." In the latest example of how high the rot goes, the ex-mayor of Tijuana, Jorge Hank Rhon, was recently arrested for gunrunning and alleged links to organized crime.
 
Then there is the cartels' sheer size. An estimated 468,000 people worked in the drug trade in 2008, making the cartels collectively among the biggest industries in Mexico. (By comparison, the state oil company, the largest firm in Mexico, has about 360,000 employees.) The cartels also now outnumber the police, estimated at just over 400,000 personnel nationwide in 2010.
 
The corruption and weakness of the police explains why, over the last half-decade, Calderón has deployed 50,000 troops across the country to decapitate the cartels' leadership and reclaim their territory block by block. Take away a criminal organization's leadership and turf, the thinking goes, and you also rob it of the ability to control just about every market -- not just the narcotics trade. Just on Tuesday, June 21, the government apprehended José de Jesús "El Chango" Méndez, leader of the so-called "Knights Templar" cartel. Calderón quickly touted the arrest as a "coup by the federal police against organized crime" on Twitter.
 
Yet critics of the government's strategy say it has been far too militarized. Violence has increased every year since the drug war began, and many civil society groups here accuse the national security forces of hurting as many civilians as they do actual criminals. And even "success" risks a "balloon effect," as a cartel squeezed in one location will almost inevitably pop up elsewhere. This effect is already painfully visible in Latin America as a whole, with Mexican cartels such as the Zetas moving into Guatemala and overwhelming the much-weaker state.
 
Many activists are thus calling for a completely new approach. Silvano Cantú, a researcher at the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights, argues that Mexico needs to think bigger than trying to win back its turf city by city. "We need to be talking to everyone," he says, mentioning the United States, Colombia, Europe, and "anywhere they clean money and buy arms." The government, too, is frustrated with the guns; cutting down on the sale in the United States is one of the Calderón administration's key demands.
 
The legalizers, a group that includes former heads of state from Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico, largely agree with this comprehensive approach. Trying to cut supply without cutting demand is a losing game, they argue. "The global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world," they wrote in the most recent report of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, an independent panel that has called for a dramatic rethinking of the drug war. Their recommendations call for the normalization of drugs (that is, legalization of possession linked with public-health regulation), including cocaine.
 
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Re: What should be done about the Cartels?

El Regio
In reply to this post by Interested-in-Solutions
Legalizing drugs isn't going to solve anything, it will just be replaced by other means of income.

"The Tea Bag Party has a 10-15% approval rating. Depending on who you ask. ja ja ja" The wise Ajulio.
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Re: What should be done about the Cartels?

ArmChairIntellect
True Regio those other crimes will persist without the drug trade but not on the scale that is happening right now.  Can't you see that without the funds to corrupt it becomes increasing more difficult to corrupt, making it harder to get away with these other crimes.  Is this truly that difficult to see that?  Prohibition in America during the 20's is a fine example of this. Yes the mafia still exists, still commits crime but not on the scale they once did.  This is because without money it is much more difficult to currupt.  Can you at least admit this?
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Re: What should be done about the Cartels?

El Regio
What will legalizing marijuana accomplish if they will shift their focus their attention to cocaine, meth, pills, etc.? I am sure it will have some effect but it won't hurt them that much, you would have to legalize every drug out there.
"The Tea Bag Party has a 10-15% approval rating. Depending on who you ask. ja ja ja" The wise Ajulio.
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Re: What should be done about the Cartels?

ArmChairIntellect
This post was updated on .
I wasn't just talking about marijuana.  Yes, legalize all of it, let addicts get recovery, if it doesn't work, well they overdose.  You don't hear about very many alcoholics breaking laws besides DUI and assaults.  No one is likely to rob for booze or cigarettes except maybe to shop lift it.  When drug addictions don't cost a fortune then you have less problems.  Its cost a lot less to put addicts in treatment than it does to put them in a prison where they will likely become criminals.   Truth is there is still quite a debate about whether addiction is a choice or mental disorder, more and more evidence is showing the latter is more correct.  Certainly there can be long term effects from the use of such substances but there  are many prescription  drugs that have similar if not worse side effects.  The price for illegal drugs is 300x there actual worth.  Addiction will always be with us, we just need to become better at treating it.  As of right now treatment for addicts is abysmal at best with a recovery rate of less than 30% on their first attempt at rehab.   We need a better understanding of the mind before there will be progress made.  So for now we have to cope and use what we have now.  When you bring these people out of the shadows, you will see a dramatic decrease in crime.   If one is spending 300$ a day on an addiction, crime is really the only viable option, you are going to have come up with income somehow.  

Just on a side note this post is not directed at criminals, rather the addicts.
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Re: What should be done about the Cartels?

jack
In reply to this post by El Regio
yea they would shift their focus to other drugs, but marijuana makes more money than the other drugs.  Overall it brings the most profit than any of the other drugs.  
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Re: What should be done about the Cartels?

El Regio
In reply to this post by ArmChairIntellect
Perhaps that may be true Armchair. However I think we would spend money on other things like the rehab you stated, broken families, welfare, crime, increased police force, etc. etc.
I wouldn't really be so opposed to legalizing weed, however I don't really agree with the other drugs. If you make them more available then you will have more addicts and the results will most likely be bad.
"The Tea Bag Party has a 10-15% approval rating. Depending on who you ask. ja ja ja" The wise Ajulio.
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Re: What should be done about the Cartels?

Interested-in-Solutions
In reply to this post by El Regio
Hi Regio,

Thank you for your response.

I agree that legalization of drugs would not solve the problem in and of itself, but it most certainly would be a very important part of a solution.


In a thread on this forum about legalizing drugs, http://borderland-beat.924382.n3.nabble.com/Legalize-drugs-td3053588.html , Buela Chivas, who is one of the more knowledgeable and respected posters on this forum argues for legalization of Marijuana only. I would agree with her.

I have thought a lot about this issue, and I definitely don't think that Heroin or Meth should be legalized or decriminalized, but I have been on the fence about the medium level drugs. I personally feel that only MJ should be legalized, and a few medium level drugs should be decriminalized.

There are a few social and economic benefits to this approach. One being better regulation. For example, surveys of high school students in the US have shown that they have more access to weed than beer. Unregulated drugs have no age restrictions, but regulated ones do.

Other benefits of the legalization of MJ and the decriminalization of medium level drugs would include a reduction in the number of unnecessarily jailed people for low level drugs, the reduction in revenues for gangs and cartels, and the isolation of harder drugs from the much more frequently used low level drugs.

This would improve the economic situation for the US and Mexico, reduce crime, reduce revenues for cartels, better regulate drug use, shift more police resources to battle the more detrimental drugs, and reduce the appeal of the harder drugs since the less harmful drugs would be easier and safer to obtain.

There would be a lot of benefits to this, but it will take a long time to get political legislation on this, and intermediate solutions to the cartel problem are needed now.
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Re: What should be done about the Cartels?

ArmChairIntellect
This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by El Regio
Your right it would increase but from what we know about addicts is that they are a minority.  Only a certain amount of people would be suitable to addiction, might comprise 10% or less of the population. Most people can experiment and move on in their lives, and there are many more that will never try them.  The actual reality most is people know how dangerous and devastating these drugs are and steer clear.  So the number would not increase beyond those that fit into this demographic.  One another note any disorder/disability or addiction is a burden and we should have pity for them, we should help them, because its the right thing to do.  This in no way justifies abusing others or forgives all of there transgressions against there victims.  Alcohol has ruined plenty of lives, plenty of families, we frown on this but we allow it.  There is nothing good about drug addiction, the same way there is nothing good about cancer.  We need improvements in science in before we can truly begin to solve this curse.
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Re: What should be done about the Cartels?

Interested-in-Solutions
In reply to this post by El Regio
El Regio wrote
Perhaps that may be true Armchair. However I think we would spend money on
other things like the rehab you stated, broken families, welfare, crime,
increased police force, etc. etc.
I wouldn't really be so opposed to legalizing weed, however I don't really
agree with the other drugs. If you make them more available then you will
have more addicts and the results will most likely be bad.
I would agree with everything you said here.
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Re: What should be done about the Cartels?

El Regio
In reply to this post by ArmChairIntellect
ArmChairIntellect wrote
Your right it would increase but from what we know about addicts is that they are a minority.  Only a certain amount these people would be suitable to addiction, might comprise 10% or less of the population. Most people can experiment and move on in their lives, and there are many more that will never try them.  The actual reality most is people know how dangerous and devastating these drugs are and steer clear.  So the number would not increase beyond those that fit into this demographic.  One another note any disorder/disability or addiction is a burden and we should have pity for them, we should help them, because its the right thing to do.  This in no way justifies abusing others or forgives all of there transgressions against there victims.  Alcohol has ruined plenty of lives, plenty of families, we frown on this but we allow it.  There is nothing good about drug addiction, the same way there is nothing good about cancer.  We need improvements in science in before we can truly begin to solve this curse.
So if it would increase those numbers why would we want to legalize it if it will not really help the situation, it will just improve in one aspect but worsen in another?
You mention the percentage of the population that may be suitable for addiction. You forget that if you make all of these drugs readily available, then people who may not have been addicts will now be addicts. Those that don't want to risk getting caught (currently) may become addicted if you can buy it at the local corner store.
Yes alcohol has ruined plenty of lives and families, so why is it ok for these drugs to do the same?
"The Tea Bag Party has a 10-15% approval rating. Depending on who you ask. ja ja ja" The wise Ajulio.
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Re: What should be done about the Cartels?

Havana
In reply to this post by ArmChairIntellect
With all the extra money Mexico has lying around that they'll want to direct to bettering the life of the people, we will put it towards fixing the mess that bad leadership has created.

For starters.  Here are some suggestions.
 
Everyone and that means you and that means me, too is going to have to do their part in pulling this country back together.

Frankly, it is incredibly embarrassing that Mexico has been allowed to lapse into this state.  What happened to a thing called pride?
Let it be known planning for a viable Mexican future is in the works and a detailed plan will be unveiled after the new president is in office one year.

With an incredible amount of planning by worldwide think tanks endorsed of course by Mexico-let it be known the UN will be providing a huge team (I mean extraordinarily big, incorruptible, and organized with a chain of command and all) for sixty days on the ground and air in Mexico. But they won't say exactly when it will start but within two years. The planning will not be analyzed step by step along the way by the  public and media.  Sorry.  You want change, right?  Then deal!. The media will help in many different ways. A separate month before ground maneuvering starts, there will be 30 days of intense technological research and organization.  These 3 months don't have to be consecutive. Banks  worldwide etc. will be on board.  This is to clean up cartels and corruption. dishonesty and corruption will no longer be considered in the least bit viable.  Lul, Wikileaks and other rogue hackers will help with these problems by providing information.  All hands will be on deck to give this country a fighting chance.

America will legalize Po. It doesn't hurt and the money generated could help fighting addiction in the US to other drugs. Decrease in profits would weaken Mexican cartels and the circle will finally begin to devolve.  Oh yeh, adjust the stupid gun laws in America, for Christ sake!  Assault weapons are outlawed effective yesterday.  I mean WTF? Civilians don't need them.  Texans don't need to overkill animals.  Another day on that. Military and Police can have them. But with proper oversight. Corrupt police, lawyers, judges, city councilmen etc. will be forced out into community service. Trained teams will be searching out cartel routes through border cities and other inner cities and eliminating them. Law enforcement and border experts are aware of them but but they are politically paralyzed in the US. Corruption is not foreign to the United States of America. This will be taken care of.

Institute capital punishment for those violent criminals who have absolutely no respect for human life and show them they lost their right to live in a country that used to respect human life until they ruined it with their brazen lack of values.  It doesn't have to be forever.  But once convicted.  It will stick even if the law is later rescinded.

Bring in the souped up gazillion lie detectors.  Germany may be willing to donate those.  I hear they have a very advanced fail-proof technology.
Keep attacking the little, pesky, corruption problem that has become a way of life in Mexico. Make the corrupted do community service and clean up the litter on the streets and teach children not to litter.  It is also disrespectful.
New social churches will teach birth control stressing small families.  And make the Catholic Church be helpful for once.  In fact, hit up Rome to donate from their vast coffers in Vatican City to help with these necessary "new ideas" to save the country that they are just as much at fault for causing many big problems as others.
Continue revamping the justice system.  Adjust the Mexican constitution.
Keep training law enforcement officers constantly. All branches of the military too.  Bring Israel in for this.
Build so many more schools in all cities, trade schools, develop job incentives. Add more social problems. Reclaim drug rehab. centers from cartels and banish illiteracy.  Come on now.  It's the 21st century and we're not talking rocket science.
Raise wages and make it worthwhile to learn a trade and work a job. Give people something to be proud of.

And Mexico has to fix the prison system in all states, add more jails and build them underground.  Why? Because I don't want to be reminded how much havoc the people inside have caused the country.

Now, as usual, I have little time to refine my ideas here but basically these are a few necessities in order to avoid complete cartel takeover.  And I've only just started. Don't let thugs run and ruin Mexico. For the money, fix the infrastructure of Pemex and get it working as it is supposed to. Take out the people stealing oil. Get an honest group of Mexicans (and don't say "honest Mexican"  is an twisted oxymoron cause I don't buy it) to divert the profits from new found oil into programs for this massive undertaking.

Some eggs will have to be cracked.  The Japanese have been known for their rebuilding, restructuring and making their country a better place to live...time and time again.  Mexicans can do it too.  Oh, sorry I just read the question.  Cartels only?  Well, that's easy, take 'em the fuck out. They're ruining Mexico.
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Re: What should be done about the Cartels?

Interested-in-Solutions
In reply to this post by Interested-in-Solutions
One of the biggest things that should be done right now is to fix the broken police system.

From the Foreign Policy article I linked to, they noted that:

"The broken justice system is unquestionably part of the problem. Mexico has a poor record of holding criminals to account for all manner of improper activity -- from trafficking to homicide to regular old theft. "You have all these arrests and more than 40,000 deaths, but we don't have anybody arrested and investigated successfully," says McKay, the security consultant. Most police departments in the United States and Canada, he notes, have an 80 to 90 percent "solve rate" of finding the alleged perpetrator. "In Mexico it's almost zero." It's no coincidence that crime rates of almost every kind are up, according to the Mexican government's own data. Extortion, bank robbery, kidnapping, and armed robbery have all risen dramatically since 2006."

Any police department that has below a 35% crime solve rate could be called "broken." A police system that has below a 10% crime solve rate could be called "non-functional." The rate in Mexico of a 0-2% crime solve rate is completely non-functional. Nothing is going to change until this is fixed first.

To fix this, Mexico needs serious outside help, and I think that is going to have to mean private security firms. Mexico should have a 5% hotel tax, and solicit International aid to pay for private security firms to take over police control.

- Control of all police units will be run by private security firms with additional monitoring by Mexican Federal Units.

- All Mexican police units will have to re-apply for new positions that will be monitored and controlled by private security firms and Mexican Federal Units.

- Mandatory lie detector test and reviews will be conducted multiple times a year for all police, public officials, Federal units, and private security team members.

- All Mexican businesses will be reviewed for Cartel business connections. Minor business connections will be given one warning, and major business connections and repeat minor business connections will be forced to give up their business licenses. This is similar to the Japanese effort to restrict Yakuza connections with business http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/19/business/global/19yakuza.html



That may sound harsh, but with the crisis in Mexico, serious solutions are needed.
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Re: What should be done about the Cartels?

ArmChairIntellect
This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by El Regio
I was actually including alcoholics as well, that's a reasonable number of people addicted to what we would consider mind altering drugs.  Caffeine is consumed by 80 to 90% of the population, cigarettes are i believe around 20% and alcohol is around 60 to 70%.  How many of those that drink caffeine or alcohol get addicted?  The number may increase but then would average out with time, around 10% or less, now true
i m just guessing but i should be fairly accurate.  The better we get at treating addiction will solve many of those problems you speak of.  We're just not there yet.  More money should be funneled in that direction,
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Re: What should be done about the Cartels?

Havana
I got behind typing my long diatribe. Now, I'm back up to speed.  I agree alcoholics should be included.
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Re: What should be done about the Cartels?

ArmChairIntellect
In reply to this post by ArmChairIntellect
Just to clarify when I speak of addiction I am only talking about those that would be considered heavy users, where the drugs interferes dramatically with their life.
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Re: What should be done about the Cartels?

Havana
In reply to this post by Interested-in-Solutions
Hello: To me, this doesn't sound overly harsh. It is necessary  I think if Mexico is to ever "go beyond" the clutches of cartels, crime, and corruption with all the complex implications, it will take a period of unpleasantness and patience to resolve the mess.  Thanks for the links
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Re: What should be done about the Cartels?

Interested-in-Solutions
In reply to this post by ArmChairIntellect
I would agree with you, but there are some drugs that I think should just never be legalized like Meth or Heroine.

With these drugs, I have heard a number of people who have tried them or know people that have tried them that have said that the first time you try them, you become addicted.

I do however think that most of our effort should be on treating the addiction for these hard drugs rather than incarceration, but I still think that the distribution of these hard drugs should be a criminal offense.
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Re: What should be done about the Cartels?

El Regio
In reply to this post by ArmChairIntellect
I think alcohol is a larger problem than you are making it out to be. On a daily basis I see (on the news) someone killed by a drunk driver. You want to add drugs on top of that? I believe it is already a large enough problem, same goes for cigarettes and all tabacco products.


"The Tea Bag Party has a 10-15% approval rating. Depending on who you ask. ja ja ja" The wise Ajulio.
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