One Texas town is convinced there’s an easy way to crush the power of Mexican cartels: end the War on Drugs.
It’s an argument libertarians have been making for years, but the 700,000-resident town of El Paso has first-hand experience to back it up. City police regularly seize massive quantities of marijuana being smuggled in from Mexico—on Thursday, the AP reported that officers had seized over 3,400 pounds of marijuana from a trailer entering from Mexico.
A recent Guardian article details the efforts of local residents to promote marijuana legalization.
“The cartels are bigger and stronger than they’ve ever been and what have we really done that’s thwarted their efforts? Nothing,” El Paso attorney Justin Underwood told The Guardian. “I am of the opinion that human beings are going to do drugs, period. Human beings are going to drink alcohol. I accept these things as facts and as long as you have a demand you will always have a supply, no matter what.”
“In a city where you have thousands of pounds of marijuana, why would you even care about a teenager smoking a joint? It’s preposterous,” said University of Texas at El Pasio professor Howard Campbell. “Why worry about consumption when the issue really is the mayhem and murder linked with trafficking?”
Several local representatives have introduced bills to decriminalize marijuana possession or free up medical marijuana.
“I don’t know that it would reduce crime in El Paso, which is already the safest city in America – but it would help to reduce cartel crime in Mexico,” agreed Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas) “Today, Mexican cartels enjoy billions of dollars in profits from US drug sales, profits that go to hire young men and women, to buy politicians, police and judges, and allow some to commit crime with impunity.”
Read the full article here.