The Washington Post reports on the new dilemma facing Mexico: How much effort are they going to put into continuing to support the American war on drugs now that marijuana for recreational use has been legalized by referendum in Colorado and Washington?
Mexico spends billions of dollars each year confronting violent trafficking organizations that threaten the security of the country but whose main market is the United States, the largest consumer of drugs in the world.
Has it all been for naught? The drug war has taken an unbelievable toll on Mexico over the past several years:
About 60,000 Mexicans have been killed in drug-related violence, and tens of thousands have been arrested and incarcerated. The drug violence and the state response to narcotics trafficking and organized crime have consumed the administration of outgoing President Felipe Calderon.
Of course, what we don't know is whether the Federal government in its wisdom will honor the verdict of the voters in Colorado and Washington. We do know that the Feds have continued prosecutions even of state-licensed medical marijuana purveyors in California since medical marijuana was legalized by referendum in that state. Here's the court decision in United States v. Stacy (S.D. Cal Mar. 2, 2010) rejecting the effort of a California-licensed medical marijuana dealer to get his Federal indictment dismissed. Oh, by the way, if you are a medical marijuana dealer and the Feds prosecute you, you are not even allowed to mention to the jury that your conduct is legal under the law of California as passed in a referendum of the people.
Sooner or later these drug agents and prosecutors will be packed off to new jobs. How many people have to die in the drug wars first?