Tim Cavanaugh Talks Vicente Fox and the Drug War with KOGO's Chris Reed, 7:33pm Pacific

Reason Senior Editor will talk about drug legalization with the San Diego Union Tribune's Chris Reed tonight on San Diego's KOGO 600 AM.

Topic: Former Mexican President Vicente Fox has been traveling El Norte calling for the United States to end the increasingly violent drug war by legalizing drugs. Here's what he told the SDUT recently:

Q: You and many other Mexicans have said Mexico is facing an unfair burden as it fights drug-trafficking groups supplying the U.S. market. Why?

A: Why are we trying to stop the drugs from crossing to the United States? Wouldn’t it be easier for the U.S. government, for President (Barack) Obama to give instructions to U.S. enforcement agencies and tell them stop drugs from moving freely within the United States? ... The United States is sending a few dollars to Mexico for the Merida agreement and some instructions, “Please Mexicans hold the drugs down there, we don’t want it here in the United States.” How many lives are we going to be sacrificing?

Q: You have been calling for drug legalization for the past two years. Why not during your presidency?

A: If I would have seen 40,000 people die during my term, believe me, I would have changed things. ... I see the process in the United States — how it’s advancing quickly toward legalization. I see cases abroad, like Portugal, and see a solution there.

Q: Last month, major Mexican news organizations agreed to guidelines for more restrained coverage of the drug-related violence in Mexico. Why are you against this pact?

A: Freedom does not have a degree. Freedom has to be all the way, even if in the name of freedom you make mistakes, even if in the name of freedom you affect others. This was done wrongly by the media in Mexico. I would like to hear their explanation of why they were forced to, either by the group or some leaders, to act like that. By taking out crime coverage from the papers, it’s not going to solve the problem in Mexico, that’s for sure.

Cavanaugh and Reed will roll up these ideas and smoke them, for your listening pleasure. 

Time: Tonight, 7:33pm Pacific, 10:33pm Eastern

Place: San Diegans (Diegolians? Diegans and Diegettes?) can tune their Marconi sets to 600 on the AM dial.

Others can listen live on the worldwide cybertubes.

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  • Achtung Baby||

    The "Drug War"! I almost forgot. Can we substitute ending the "Drug War" for defunding Planned Parenthood and NPR?

  • The Government||

    No can do. Essential, you know.

  • Katherine Ross||

    Why can't I be First Lady?

  • ||

    Of course the catch is not just legalizing it. But making it tax free.

    I mean, sure, anyone can grow marijuana. But what about other stuff? That will be taxed heavily, I'm sure.

    But the criminals will sell them untaxed, cheaper. So while it will help, I'm not sure it will help all that much. Just like how ending prohibition didn't get rid of the Mafia...

  • mad libertarian guy||

    It will not completely eliminate the black market, but, as with people who would prefer to drink and NOT go to jail, as opposed to those who don't care as long as they drink, most will still buy from the government racket.

    Even if they were to tax the shit out of a newly legalized drug sector, people will pay. They'll think of it as a "pay for protection" thing.

  • Otto||

    The end of prohibition didn't get rid of the mafia, but the mafia doesn't traffic in booze anymore.

    There's a break point somewhere. People in Scandinavia don't grow their own tobacco or have their own stills, despite very high taxes on cigarettes and booze. Taxes would have to be pretty bad before it becomes worth it to make your own chemicals, especially after the price markup for illegality is removed.

  • Mexican Cartel Jefe||

    It's ok, we have been moving into things like kidnapping and extortion. They pay very well also.

  • ||

    Should be interesting to see how that turns out.


  • ||

    I have lived in Mexico for the last 22 years as a teacher and constructor of houses and an innkeeper. In all these years, I have seen VERY few Mexicans indulging in drugs of any kind (except liquor and tobacco, of course).
    Maybe the constant "war on drugs" makes people crave them more??? up there in Gringo-land.

  • Mexican Cartel Jefe||

    I wonder what isolated little village you have been living in, franky.

  • ||

    Probably because all the profits are up north.

  • AlmightyJB||

    It seems like pot legalization is just common sense, especially since we all know the history of alcohol prohibition. The problem, I think, is typical of a lot of government problems, and that is money and power. The War on Drugs provides so much money and so many cool new toys to law enforcement, not to mention broader powers, that they don't want to see it end. Mayberry RFD now has a federal funds, a swat team, armored assault vehicles, and broad powers of search, seizure, and forfeiture. Perhaps now that we have the War on Terror, they won't need the War on Drugs any more and we can stop breaking down the doors and arresting people for doing what most of the US Population has done at some point in their lives. It's insane really. I think at some point pot will be legalized not because it's the right thing to do, but because Leviathan won't be able to help itself to the tax revenue it would provide.

  • ||

    mayberry rfd et al didn't pass laws criminalizing drugs (and pot) nor are they the ones who can get rid of such laws.

    legislatures, and in states that have a strong citizen intitiatives - people in general - could eliminate drug laws TOMORROW.

    despite the laws, there are a metric assload of cops, and PD's that spend little to no time on MJ enforcement whatsoever (at least from a personal possession basis) but that does not change the law

    even in friggin' nevada, though, we couldn't get a citizen initiative to pass that would legalize it

  • Sickhouse||

    So if the police are just victims to the whims of the public and legislature, why do LEOs campaign furiously to retain the drug war?

    I've seen it in at least Colorado and California. The Police chiefs, sheriffs, and of course the drug squads will try to scare people into voting against reform. In Colorado there was even an investigation into whether or not they used public money to do so.

  • ||

    for the hundredth time, the IACP and cop-o-crats =/= cops.

    the chairman of GM =/= average assembly line worker

    police chiefs are politicians. first and foremost. they are political appointees. usually, with rare exceptions, they are just mouthpieces for whatever city govt. they work for

    i don't understand why that is hard to understand`. they are NOT cops, in general.

    and even if most cops supported the war on marijuana, THEY DO NOT MAKE THE LAWS.

    the power to make them, the people who DID make them, and the people who can change them are legislators and./or citizens in states with citizen initiatives.

    regardless, what some cop-o-crat says on teevee about the WOD and mj says NOTHING about what joe the street cop thinks.

    the war on drugs would not exist without laws against drugs. the war on drugs is a direct result of legislation


  • Sickhouse||

    Please don't get me wrong I'm not blaming the existence of the drug war on the police.

    And as for "the hundredth time", forgive me for only having lurked H&R for a short time.

    With the disconnect between the head and body of law enforcement organizations, is there a healthy discourse within the organizations? As an ordinary citizen I'm usually only exposed to police on the "teevee" or in the rare cases where I am under their scrutiny. While this probably not a fair sampling, I've not heard much in the way of dissent.

  • ||

    the reality is that line cops are notoriously not political in general. also, there is the suspicion among many that coming out publically against the war on drugs (or in my opinion - the war the erodes civil rights far more for the average person - the war on domestic violence) can hurt one's career.

    from the general conversations i have with street cops i work with, a very fair %age think the war on mj is misguided, or a waste of time, or unimportant, etc.

    many cops routinely do not bust people for finding them with small amount of mj (iow personal possession) and this is also consistent with many dept. policies, in others cops may even risk getting in disciplinary trouble for doing so.

    there are some cops who are so hungry for a stat, or are bucking for a drug war, and will cite anybody for mj, no matter how small the amount. those are, ime, the minority.

    i think most realize also that it's not potheads that assault us (or their domestic partners), or are causing the kind of street crime that victimizes others, to include us - by causing paperwork :)

    i've been on cop forums where a lot of cops have basically said "who gives a flying fuck if people smoke a little mj if they aren't bothering anybody else" etc.

    in my first police dept, my police chief actually told us he did not want us enforcing personal possession of mj. he said it straight out.

    of course when cops nolle pros mj in the field, it never makes the paper, let alone the courts, so nobody hears about it. thus, selection bias rears its head.

    again, you are not going to see cops (or at least people who identify as cops so the public can see) marching for legalization, for the reasons mentioned.

    you also are certainly not going to see them making a point to attend stuff like hempfest, etc. and risk getting a rep in their agency as some sort of hippie stoner.

    personally, i think mj is lame as fuck, but i've made it pretty clear to my partners that i think enforcing personal possession is dumb, and many, if not most, have the same belief

    i never would have known this was true before becoming a cop, and i suggest most members of the public don't know about this either. why would they?

  • Sickhouse||

    I would have to disagree about domestic abuse being worse for civil rights. As far as I know a domestic abuse complaint doesn't allow police to sieze assets and directly enrich their own coffers. So it lacks incentive for abuse. I think it also differs in the fact that it isn't a consensual crime.

    Back to the topic at hand... So we would agree then that there is a system in place to keep "the good ones" from expressing their views publicly? This has a direct effect on the views of voters who only see the "cop-o-crats" (I dig that word btw) and think that they speak for the entire organization.

    But here is where I'm sure you will disagree with me: I think that the inaction of the line cops that see the problems does help to perpetuate the WoD, and they carry at least some responsibility consequences or not.

  • ||

    nobody said domestic abuse is worse for civil rights. i said the war ON domestic abuse is.

    1) arrests are mandatory in many cases.
    2) your right to keep and bear arms will be stripped WITHOUT a criminal trial. a simple hearing, with no right to jury trial, and a civil evidence standard is all that it takes to take away your guns and right to carry
    3) your right to free association can also be stripped w/o a trial. if a judge wants to issue a no contact order, after arrest (mere PC) for a dv offense, they will. even if the "victim" wants it lifted, the judge gets the final say. as long as the order stays in effect, both parties cannot even COMMUNICATE, let alone hang out. and again, NO crime need be proven in a criminal trial. it's all civil

    if one of those orders is issued, you will also be ejected from your home, for at least the time until the next hearing (2 weeks) w/no right to a criminal trial, and not even a right at that point (for 2 weeks) to present your side at a civil hearing

    the WO dv is far worse in that the average innocent is far more likely to get caught up in it,, there are far less protections against stripping of rights and liberty, etc.

    educate yourself

    as for the "inaction of line cops" the reality is the vast majority of people, to include bloggers who wank a lot, aren't doing jackshit to change the WOD. wanking in this blog isn't DOING anything.

    most people who SMOKE pot aren't protesting, contacting their legislators, etc.

    they are just as "to blame" as the line cops are.

  • AlmightyJB||

    The police brass is who represents the police force politically and they don't want to lose the money. When you here about the police backing something or backing something, they're talking about the police chiefs.

  • ||

    correct. and like i said, police chiefs are politicians first. some are cops, many aren't even real cops in any true sense of the word.

    regardless, what police chiefs claim to support or not support is largely contingent upon what they need to say to keep their appointed positions
    they in no way, shape or form are representative of real line cops

  • JD||

    for the hundredth time, the IACP and cop-o-crats =/= cops.

    To politicians and to the general public, they are the same thing. Until some major law enforcement organizations (not just LEAP) speak out, politicians will continue to point to the support of the IACP and say "Look, the police want us to continue the War on Drugs" and the public will assume LEOs in general support the WOD.

  • ||

    i'm not responsible for their ignorance, and you shouldn't play into it.

    and the general public is often smarter than given credit for. many members of the general public have friends and/or know real cops. far fewer hobnob with cop-o-crat police chiefs.

  • ||

    Why did they interview the guy from the Dos Equis "Most Interesting Man in the World"?

  • ||

    Here's the other half of the equation: why doesn't Mexico legalize gun ownership so law-abiding citizens can stand up for themeselves? Gun control and drug control have more or less the same failed logic.

  • Otto||

    As I pointed out on the Russia Today thread, so does porn control. "Freedom could potentially result in horrible things, so we need to enact laws that ensure that bad things happen, so the potentially worse ones in our minds don't."

    And then those horrible things happen anyway, which the idiots use as an argument that the laws were justified.

  • ||

    "I see the process in the United States — how it’s advancing quickly toward legalization." Fucking news to me!

  • ||

    Here's what I want to know: Did Fox bring sugar Coke back to the U.S.? 'Cause if he did, he's a friggin' hero.

  • ||

    Mexico's voluntarily running their own WOD (actually a war on competitors), this sleazebag blames it on the US and nobody calls him on it.

  • Otto||

    Without the United States, drug policy in many nations would be radically different, and probably much better. The US has pushed many nations to impose stricter penalties for both use and sales of drugs.

    Being a border nation and transit route, Mexico undoubtedly was on the receiving end of some arm-twisting from DC.

    In Foreign Policy, a former Border Patrol agent echoes Fox' call for legalization.

  • chaussures air max||

    good luck


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