Pubdate: Sun, 20 Sep 2015
Source: Standard-Speaker (Hazleton, PA)
Copyright: 2015 The Standard-Speaker
Author: John Stossel, Creators Syndicate
Note: John Stossel is host of "Stossel" on Fox News and author of 
"No, They Can't! Why Government Fails - But Individuals Succeed." For 
other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Copyright 2015 By JFS Productions Inc. Distributed by Creat


How many wars can we fight? Our presidential candidates demand 
"stronger action" against both illegal immigration and illegal drugs. 
But those goals conflict. The War on Drugs makes border enforcement 
much harder!

America's 44-year-long Drug War hasn't made a dent in American drug 
use or the supply of illegal drugs. If it had some positive effect, 
prices of drugs would have increased, but they haven't. American 
authorities say drugs are more available than ever.

Drug prohibition, like alcohol prohibition, creates fat profits that 
invite law-breaking.

Cato's Ted Galen Carpenter says, "Economists estimate that about 90 
percent of the retail price of illicit drugs is due to this black 
market premium." Ninety-percent profits inspire lots of criminal risk-taking.

"Washington's policy empowers the most ruthless traffickers - those 
willing to use violence, intimidation and exploitation of the 
vulnerable to gain market share." Continues Carpenter: "When drugs 
are outlawed, only outlaws will sell drugs."

Since the drug gangs can't settle disputes in court, they settle them 
with guns. In Latin America, they've killed thousands of people.

"Honduras has been living in an emergency," says Honduran President 
Juan Hernandez. "The root cause is that the United States and 
Colombia carried out big operations in the fight against drugs."

Mexico's former president, Vicente Fox, now supports legalization. 
Leaders of Guatemala, Colombia, Costa Rica and Bolivia have begun to 
object to the militaristic antidrug tactics pushed by the United States.

Yet Hillary Clinton called taxpayer money spent on counter-narcotics 
efforts in Central America "money well spent."

She's closed-minded and wrong. Our Drug War creates the carnage that 
drives poor Latin Americans to abandon their villages and move north. 
That increases resentment against immigrants, as expressed by Donald 
Trump, who said, "They're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime." 
Some do bring drugs, but most wouldn't bring crime if they could 
legally do business with us.

Our crazy, failed policy turns our neighbors to the south into a deadly menace.

"Coyotes," who help impoverished refugees escape, often require even 
the children to become drug mules - to smuggle small amounts of 
drugs. The children obey, since many fled places where they'd be shot 
at or tortured by gangs. They know the drug gangs and coyotes are 
their only hope for reaching a better life.

Drug profits give smugglers the money to do what poverty-stricken 
immigrants can't: dig long, high-tech tunnels with lighting and 
ventilation systems. A border fence doesn't secure the border when 
immigrants - and criminals - can tunnel underneath it.

U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy recently bragged to reporters about "the 
fifth supertunnel we've intercepted."

Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agent Derek Benner claimed that 
the interception dealt "a stunning blow to the Mexican cartel who built it."

But that's absurd. Benner admitted they'd done the same thing two 
years before "in virtually the same scenario." They found five of how 
many? Hundreds? With a border almost 2,000 miles long, they're 
unlikely to find them all.

Drug prohibition, by making drug cartels rich, enables them to build 
a literal underground railroad to the north. The whole process - dig, 
build, raid, destroy, repeat - is just one more pointless activity 
that happens when government tries to suppress popular activities 
such as drug use.

Other countries are wising up. Argentina, Peru, Mexico and Portugal 
decriminalized small amounts of drugs. Uruguay legalized marijuana 
entirely, as have Colorado and Washington State.

The Center for Investigative Reporting says 90 percent of the drugs 
seized on the U.S.-Mexico border are some form of marijuana, meaning 
almost every time the Border Patrol makes a drug bust, it confiscates 
a drug that's legal in Colorado. This is crazy. We keep trying to do 
things the hard way - spending over $1 trillion on the Drug War. If 
there were a clear benefit, you might say it was worth it. Instead, 
it yields death, dislocation of populations and enrichment of 
murderous cartels, without reducing drug abuse. Why do we put up with this?

Government's attempts to prohibit what people want tend to fail. The 
wars on immigration and drugs are two more wars we won't win.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom