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El Chapo and the Faceless Future of Mexico's Drug War - Atlantic Mobile

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From a cultural standpoint, the timing of Guzmán’s downfall seems fitting. Presenting a captured kingpin to the public like a human trophy may be a hallmark of the war on drugs, but the political climate has changed markedly in recent years. Public opinion in Latin America and the U.S. is gradually turning against militarizing the war on drugs. Honduras recently suspended joint operations with the DEA after a controversial raid was blamed for the deaths of innocent civilians. Emboldened by marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington, current and former presidents in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico, and Uruguay are all pushing to end prohibitionist drug policies. Parts of Mexico are still mired in cartel-fueled chaos, but the brutality andunstaunched bloodshed that marked former Mexican President Felipe Calderón’s battle with drug gangs is subsiding.

Does legalizing marijuana substantially change the drug wars?

Does ending Prohibitionist drug policies?

There are are so many good reasons for ending Prohibitionist drug policies.

Fast forward to today – our society is swimming in drugs. We all have family members who use drugs, whether it’s Prozac or Ritalin or Viagra or painkillers or marijuana or cocaine, etc., and every other commercial on TV is trying to sell us a drug. Yet we still have a failed prohibitionist policy that is responsible for 1.5 million people getting arrested every year for drugs and tens of thousands of people dying because of a drug overdose – more than the number of people who die in car accidents. It's estimated that more than 100,000 people in Mexico have been killed or have gone missing since they militarized their war on drugs in 2006. And despite it all, millions of people around the world continue to use drugs every day.

It’s costing us way too much money trying to enforce prohibition. One of the main reasons Prohibition was repealed was because it was an unenforceable policy. Today, half of what we spend on law enforcement and the criminal justice system is for drug law enforcement. The U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the world. And despite all these efforts, drugs are cheaper and purer than ever before. Instead of wasting money on incarceration and a bloated prison industrial complex, we should invest in treatment and rehabilitation, which costs far less than imprisonment and actually attempts to help people. We need to find the best policy that reduces the harms of drug use.

Well said. Why is this the minority opinion?