President Barak Obama told fellow leaders at this week’s Summit of the Americas in Columbia that “I don’t think legalization of drugs is going to be the answer.” Bowing to the reality that several latin American leaders are pushing for legalization, Obama said he doesn’t “mind a debate on decriminalization.” Well, I guess that’s something.
Progressive voters had hoped for more from Obama, who has mostly ducked questions about marijuana law reform.
Meanwhile, his crack Secret Service team was recalled for after getting into a fee dispute with Columbian prostitutes. Their conduct is emblematic of the drug war from the latin american perspective. The U.S. has lots on money but little appreciation for local customs, or consequences.
If any agreement on decriminalization could be reached, marijuana is the drug to try. According to recent polling, over 50% of Americans think that marijuana should be decriminalized, so there is a baseline of public acceptance of the idea.
For the latin americans, legalization of pot would be a kick in the teeth to the drug cartels. Sure they would still have cocaine and heroin, but cocaine’s popularity is declining and the heroin trade is being supplanted by prescription Oxycontin. Pot is still the bread and butter of the cartel money machine, and the cartels are the greatest threat to civil society in latin america.