Sunday, September 26, 2010

Demand has not fallen...

...and supply remains plentiful. What other choice but to legalize (or at least de-criminalize).

In Law School, the chief of police for the City of Chicago was kind enough to present himself as a guest speaker for one of my classes, the subject being drugs and drug law.

I (just paddling out into the water of economic analysis as applied to legal questions at the time) simply asked him one question:

"Have your interdiction and seizure efforts effected the PRICE of cocaine? In other words, have you seen a measureable and significant increase in the price of cocaine because of the Department's efforts?"

His answer? No price increase. In fact, a large decrease in price and increase in purity was observed. This led me to hold my current view that the "war" on drugs is simply unwinnable...victory is not even a realistic condition in this case. I recognize that this is a difficult issue in that "economic externalities" are a real cost on society, but that is another discussion.

So who has prospered under this war?

The Senate's top Republican on foreign policy said this weekend that drug traffickers operating on the Mexican border pose a more immediate national security threat than domestic terrorists.

Sen. Richard Lugar (Ind.), senior Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is calling on the White House to intensify efforts to help Mexico fight drug lords at the border, where escalating violence has killed tens of thousands of people in the past few years.

"Transnational drug trafficking organizations operating from Mexico represent the most immediate national security threat faced by the United States in the Western Hemisphere," Lugar said in remarks prepared for an Indiana-based training for Mexican prosecutors Sunday, Reuters reports.

"The United States should undertake a broad review of further steps the U.S. military and the intelligence community could take to help combat the Mexican cartels in association with the Mexican government."

The Indiana Republican is suggesting the U.S. military and intelligence communities provide Mexico with more surveillance help, to combat the flow of drugs, money and weapons across the 1,969 mile border, Reuters reports.

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