Friday, May 22, 2015

43 Killed in Major Offensive Against Drugs

A few days ago, Mexican officials clashed with the Jalisco New Generation, one of the countries largest and most violent drug cartels. While the majority of the deceased were cartel members, the fighting lasted for hours and dozens of guns were recovered. The scale of the offensive calls into question the efficacy of the War on Drugs in the US. It is generally accepted that millions of tonnes of illicit substances are smuggled over the US American Border every year, but US law enforcement usually does not begin until it reaches the cities. In my opinion it would make more sense to try to attack the root of the problem instead of allowing cartels to grow to this huge scale where massive assaults are needed in order to hurt them. I am aware that jurisdiction laws complicate things, but it seems narrow minded to leave our neighbors to themselves. What do you think? Should we let the Mexican Authorities handle a problem they cant control? Or should the US step in? 

7 comments:

Elena E said...

Considering this is an international problem, it should be handled by both Mexican and American authorities, as well as any other country that may somehow be involved. The War on Drugs in the US has not been persistent enough. In pre-Communist China, an estimated 70 million people were addicted to opium, morphine, or heroin. China took this problem seriously. Today, we see 20 year old Tao Jing and 25 year old He Xiuling being executed on Chinese television for just merely possession of drugs. Although death penalty for drug possession is too ruthless, I still think that if the U.S. enforced stricter laws on drug trafficking, the cartel would be reduced. If there is no demand for illicit substances, the supply would decrease.

Alex Li said...

It is the responsibility of the Mexican government to make sure that their country does not suffer from drug related issues like crime and massive weed grows that are bad for forests . The U.S. Government may step in if the situation is too out of control for the Mexican authorities to handle, but I agree with Antony that the fact that we only attempt to cripple the drug trade once it reaches the city is a ineffective policy of the failed war on drugs . The U.S.could literally fly over Mexico with their consent with helicopters and destroy all the weed plantations rather quickly, but they allow the cartels to continue their operations because they want the drugs entering Ameriica where the government uses drugs as an avenue to disproportionately arrest minorities in their war on drugs, which it really was not all along.

Kelsey O'Donnell said...

I disagree with Elena that there should be harsher penalties for these drugs to deal with the problem. Putting people in jail or fining them for possession, use, or creation of these drugs is clearly not working and ever has. The US has a supposed alcohol problem in the beginning of the 20th century so they enacted Prohibition, and we all know that that merely led to increased mob activity and in no way helped the problem. The solution to that was to legalize alcohol once again and that's what needs to be done with marijuana. Marijuana is not as serious of a drug as heroine or opium and is already widely used both medically and recreationally across the United States. By legalizing marijuana nationally the federal government could regulate the market, make a lot of much needed money on taxes, and save incarecation money on the thousands of inmates in our already crowded prisons who are there for marijuana-related charges. The US is losing the War on Drugs, and to me, the best solution is to end the war entirely by making peace.

Jeremiah Rondeau said...

It almost sounds like the invasions of Mexico is being suggested.

California marijuana growers are doing far more damage to the cartels than "fly[ing] over Mexico...in helicopters and destroy[ing] all the weed" ever could. Running an army isn't a profitable enterprise when your competition is picking crops peacefully. I agree with Kelsey, minus the part about taxing Marijuana.

In response to Elena, the demand curve for hard drugs is relatively inelastic. Raising the price of heroin by 50% is unlikely to cause a large percentage of junkies to quit-- however it will encourage a large number of suppliers to enter the market (now considering the risk worth it) who will drive down prices. Commodity prices (drugs are economic commodities) reach zero economic profit (normal profit) in the long term. Granted, prices will be higher than without government intervention, however this creates a whole host of other social problems (such as poverty, theft to support drug habits, etc.).

Douglas Kirsher said...

We should encourage Mexico to deal with the root of the problem by giving them incentives. At the same time, we must deal with demand among american citizens. If we do not deal with the demand, how can we expect Mexico to effectively address the cartels? If the demand remains, then every time the Mexican government puts down one cartel, a new one will rise. As a result, Mexico will lose any motivation to continue the fight on drugs knowing that we are not doing our part.

Ben Maison said...

As long as the Mexican government invites the US in, it should be ok. Moving the anti-drug operations primarily to Mexico would move it closer to the source of the problem. IF you want to get really cynical, you could just analyze it as less of a waste of time. The Mexican drug gang problem isn't just large, it's far-reaching. It will take a hell of a lot of resources to address, more than the american people are willing to lend to the cause. America is still a bit wary of conflict. I don't think the US should take the matter into it's own hands.

Eddie Huang said...

While attacking the drug cartels directly is the most obvious solution, I'm going to agree with Kelsey that the best course of action is to legalize the drugs in question instead of continuing the costly War on Drugs. While a huge investment may put a large dent in the power of cartels, their reach is too far to be feasibly stamped out completely. By legalizing the drugs in question, one would shift the demand curve for black market drugs to the left; there would be less demand for drugs at all possible costs due to the existence of a legal option. A shift in demand in that direction would seriously damage the ability of drug cartels to operate, as people switch to legal, controlled ways away from the black market, which loses necessity.

Obviously, though this would be the best solution to win the war on drugs, its effects on public health may not be positive. In terms of weighing whether such an option would ultimately be best for the country, multiple considerations must be made, and each possible solution has its benefits and its sacrifices. (Is ending the War on Drugs and violence by reducing cartel power by legalizing drugs worth the decrease in health?)