Tag Archives: crime

"In a Free Society You Need a Reason to Make Something Illegal"

So I have to admit that I feel a huge stoner for writing this, but it’s an important matter of public policy in a country that leads the world in incarceration.  Over 20% of our prisoners are costing us $35k a year for victimless drug crimes, and an untold number are serving time for crimes — property or violent — tangentially related drugs whether raising money to buy drugs or fighting over turf on which to sell drugs.  After a century of failure its time (puff, cough, puff) to rethink the almost-world-wide prohibition of drugs.  I’ve long felt that drug prohibition – and I’m not talking only about the pot that flows as freely through my East Quad home as bonus money at a failed bank, but also heroin, crack, meth and all sorts of things a little white priss like me has never seen outside of poorly done newspaper illustrations – was a failure and ought to be ended.  I’ve also long not dared to speak it, lest I be lumped in with the sorts of long-haired, unwashed Ron Paul groupies that I want so desperatly for Ann Arbor liberals like myself not to be.  But an article from The Economist, a bastion of the respectable center-right consensus, has given me the proverbial kick-in-the-ass I needed to come out of the closet in favor of legalization. (more…)

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The War to the South

While the U.S has been fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan our neighbor, Mexico, has been fighting an increasingly bloody war on drug cartels since 2006. When Mexican President Felipe Calderon was elected he issued a declaration of war on the drug cartels and actually followed through with the arrest of a major drug kingpin and replacing local cops, who are/were notoriously corrupt and linked to drug routes, in drug hotbeds like Tijuana and Monterrey with federal troops (they got pay raises to help insure loyalty. Not that you can’t bribe the federales, it might just cost you more.) But the crack down has caused huge backlash, the cartels are battling each other for the prime routes into the U.S. made available by arrests of other cartel leaders and the government. The increase in violence lead to an estimated 6,ooo drug-related fatalities in 2008 with about 2,000 occurring in Chihuahua (across from Texas) the total is  nearly double those of 2007. This year has already seen a huge amount of drug related crime and arrests:

  • Arrest of Santiago Meza, a employee of a Tijuana’s cartel who dissolved 300 bodies of rival cartel members in vats of chemicals
  • Abduction and murder of the new head drug off icier of Cancun less than 24 hours after taking the job. 
  • Already been a reported 200 deaths in the border town of Ciudad Juarez
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