Hillary Clinton Reminds a Hurting Latin America That She Is Opposed to Drug Legalization

At a forum hosted by Foreign Policy magazine, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reminded the leaders of Latin America, whose countries have been savaged by drug-war violence, that the Obama administration, and Clinton in particular, are opposed to legalizing drugs as a means of making those countries less reminiscent of failed states: 

"I respect those in the region who believe strongly that [U.S. legalization] would end the problem," Clinton said Thursday at a Washington D.C. forum hosted by Foreign Policy magazine. "I am not convinced of that, speaking personally."

Some Central American leaders have urged the United States to consider other approaches to domestic drug usage — citing ruthless drug cartels that murder thousands of their citizens. Several Central American countries are considering limited legalization of drugs within their borders.

"I think when you've got ruthless vicious people who have made money one way and it's somehow blocked, they'll figure out another way," she said. "They'll do kidnapping they'll do extortion."

Speaking about the two states that recently legalized marijuana, Clinton repeated the Obama administration position that they haven't formulated a response yet.

"This is an ongoing debate," she said. "We are formulating our own response to the votes of two of our states as you know — what that means for the federal system, the federal laws and law enforcement."

"I think you can, with a comprehensive strategy succeed in certainly pushing back the tide of violence and corruption that drug trafficking brings," she said.

Clinton's statement about ballot initiatives in Colorado and Washington represents the largest number of words a named official of this administration has uttered regarding the single biggest change in drug policy this century. Good on Clinton for acknowledging that it happened. 

It's also fascinating to me how Clinton has shifted on this topic. Here's what she said during a Mexico City trip in 2009

"Our insatiable demand for illegal drugs fuels the drug trade. Our inability to prevent weapons from being illegally smuggled across the border to arm these criminals causes the deaths of police officers, soldiers and civilians."

Here she is in February 2011

Maerker: In Mexico, there are those who propose not keeping going with this battle and legalize drug trafficking and consumption. What is your opinion?

Clinton: I don't think that will work. I mean, I hear the same debate. I hear it in my country. It is not likely to work. There is just too much money in it, and I don't think that—you can legalize small amounts for possession, but those who are making so much money selling, they have to be stopped.

And November 2012: "I am not convinced of that, speaking personally."

Since when do personal convictions matter in deciding policies that directly affect billions of people?

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  • califernian||

    She is not stupid. She is evil. She knows exactly how wrong her speculations are about 'too much money in it' and 'legalizing it won't stop the violence'.

    She maintaining the regime at all (human) costs. She is evil.

  • Sevo||

    Not going to disagree on evil; the 'it takes a village' crap is evidence enough.
    But I'm not sure she is bright enough to make the connection between legal risk and drug costs.

  • Julio Cesar Samper Uribe||

    Oh, she knows well.

    You just don't cross the DOJ, the DEA, the ONDCP, prison guard unions, Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman.

    Top Men.

  • SIV||

    You just don't cross the DOJ, the DEA, the ONDCP

    Hilary's co-workers, and she pretty much outranks all of them. Must not want to piss off the big boss Obama.

  • Coeus||

    Must not want to piss off the big boss Obama.

    No, just doesn't want to piss off his bosses. Remember, she did meet them once. Must have left an impression.

  • SIV||

    As a former First Lady and current Secretary of State I'm sure she's met "them" quite often. Must of sucked when she found out she had to take a "dive".

  • C. Anacreon||

    I'm thinking she's starting to set herself up for 2016. Take some time off after January, then start ramping it up as the "moderate" alternative to the eight years of Saint O for anyone who might think about voting R next time.

  • iggy||

    She's 65 years old. Do you really think she's going to run at 69? She'll be almost as old as Mccain was when he ran, and at that age he didn't seem to be up to the rigors of a presidential campaign.

  • ||

    Yes. I do think she'll run at 69. And at 73.

  • please refrain||

    do not use Hillary Clinton and 69 in the same sentence.

  • ||

    Hypocrite.

  • C. Anacreon||

    70 is the new 40

  • ||

    She's definitely going to run; that will be the best chance for her to implement HillaryCare when ObamneyCare either implodes or proves so unworkable that the general public will be screaming bloody murder for Single-Payer, her ultimate wet dream.

    It's no secret that Hillary is pretty tight with The Minister of Health here, a one Dr. Raisa Bogatyrjova, who is also quite tight with Sec. Sebilius.

    More on UKR Ministry of Health*.

    *In Ukrainian; use Google translate for a fairly decent gist if interested.

  • Atanarjuat||

    Rand Paul would cream her* if she ran, so I hope she does.

    *Ew.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    She is not stupid. She is evil.

    She is willing to fight the drug war forever, even if it kills all the lesser people in Latin America (and the US for that matter). A terrible price that she is willing to bare.

  • Ted S.||

    I don't want to see Hillary Clinton bare, thank you very much.

  • mtrueman||

    Maybe she's being honest with us. In Mexico it's widely recognized that government, military and police profit from the drugs business. I hear almost nothing about this on the northern side of the border, yet the incentives are all there for corruption of public officials. I doubt Clinton is referring, even obliquely, to corruption of American law makers and enforcers, but I'm surprised at how little this possibility is taken into account, especially when compared to the way Mexicans perceive the problem.

  • Sevo||

    "There is just too much money in it,"

    Well, Ms Clinton, why do you think that is?

  • ||

    War is the health of the state. The drug war has been making the federal state "healthier" (as in more powerful) for a very long time now. It's going to be absolutely loathe to end it.

  • sarcasmic||

    Drugs are a moral issue. They're bad because they're bad. Period.

    There is no reasoning with a drug warrior.

  • sarcasmic||

    Talking about this with my wife, who is normally as rational as a woman can get, and she has a total emotional meltdown.

    "Pot makes people useless! You'll have useless pot smokers on SSDI because they have a 'disease' just like alcoholics who get paid by the government to stay home and drink! They'll be showing up to work stoned and there's nothing anyone can do about it because it's legal! Fuck! Bring on the zombie apocalypse! Stoned fucking zombies everywhere! Legalize the shit so we can kill them off! Fucking stoned useless motherfuckers!"

    Can't reason with emotion either.

  • iggy||

    I like the argument that people on drugs would force us to pay for them through government.

    That's an argument against government giving people money, not an argument against drug legalization.

  • sarcasmic||

    Agreed. But it's like the immigration argument. Open borders and the welfare state are incompatible.

  • Calidissident||

    It's also idiotic given how expensive the drug war is, and how ineffective it is at stopping people from doing drugs

  • Cytotoxic||

    Needs a smackin'.

  • C. Anacreon||

    Oh yeah, that's a paddlin'.

  • ||

    "Thank you sir, may I have another?!"

  • SIV||

    Women are the main reason drugs are illegal. I guess they really don't like (Negro) jazz musicians and (Mexican)farm laborers unless they're high.

  • ||

    Not so much "women" as "soccer moms". OK, soccer moms are women, but soccer moms aren't all women. Or even most women. They're just the most vocal, "concerned" and powerful.

  • SIV||

    I certainly don't mean "all women". I certainly do mean "most women".

    Hell, I've met plenty that smoke weed, take prescription meds not prescribed, use coke and/or meth etc who think all or most drugs should remain illegal.

  • Calidissident||

    Let me guess, these are the type of women who aren't very likely to face the consequences others do for breaking drug laws?

  • SIV||

    Most drug users don't expect to face the legal consequences of drug prohibition.
    Unless they already have.

  • Calidissident||

    Yes, but certain groups are a lot more likely than others to face those consequences

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Lord knows I'm no Hillary fan, but the Secy of State has zilch to do with domestic drug policy.

  • sarcasmic||

    Don't you have some police cock to be sucking on another thread?

  • Cytotoxic||

    He's committed to it on ALL threads. It's the Tulpa guarantee.

  • SIV||

    She's the Secretary of State. Our domestic drug policy exists in order to comply with an international treaty.If I recall my civics correctly, the Department of State has something to do with treaties.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    Our domestic drug policy exists in order to comply with an international treaty.

    I hope you're joking. We can bail on the treaty in question at any time. Domestic drug policy is a choice of our leaders and, unfortunately, most of the electorate.

  • Calidissident||

    Not to mention, Congress cannot sign a treaty to pass a law that would be unconstitutional. Treaties must comply with the Constitution. Though who am I kidding? Treaty or not, the Supreme Court wouldn't do anything about it

  • SIV||

    the Secy of State has zilch to do with domestic drug policy

    We can bail on the treaty in question at any time.

    ^Zilch?^

    We could pull out of the UN and NATO too.(and I wish we would) There is a whole diplomatic, bureaucratic inertia to the whole WoDs, both here and abroad.
    The policies are tightly bound.The treaties actually predate (and define) the particulars of domestic prohibition.

    Why is it that drugs aren't legal anywhere?

  • Gene||

    "Why is it that drugs aren't legal everywhere?"

    I think we all know the answer.

    FUCK YOU THAT'S WHY

  • ||

    I always knew you were in the tank for Hillary.

  • Tulpa Doom||

    We are formulating our own response to the votes of two of our states as you know

    How long does it take to write 7 letters starting with F and ending with U?

  • iggy||

    Shorter Hillary:

    Our moral guardians are more important than your dead children.

  • Jerry on the road||

    "I think when you've got ruthless vicious people who have made money one way and it's somehow blocked, they'll figure out another way," she said. "They'll do kidnapping they'll do extortion."

    Wait, she's talking about Hispanics here?

  • JeremyR||

    What, only white people have a history of violence?

    While South Americans weren't so bad, Mesoamericans were some of the most bloodthirsty people on Earth

  • Calidissident||

    Where the fuck did he say that Jeremy?

  • Sevo||

    "Wait, she's talking about Hispanics here?"
    Naah. She's talking about the cops.

  • ||

    I thought she was talking about the DOJ.

  • Ted S.||

    No; she's talking about government workers.

  • SKR||

    I know we tend to ignore this point as irrelevant because net freedom would have increased, but it is compelling to some people. The argument is ridiculous. Sure the cartels will try to expand into other areas, but which criminal activity is easier to police the profit dense smuggling of drugs or smuggling people or guns? Legalization of drugs would make it far more difficult for them to maintain operations and that would be a good thing. Legalization of prostitution would also put a damper on the human trafficking argument.

  • Jake W||

    The cartels will be severely destabilized with lots of newly legal worthless product on their hands, loss of a major income flow, and a scramble to find other profitable activities. To believe this wouldn't give law enforcement a chance to behead the weakened cartels is ridiculous. If there is no action, to believe the cartels won't be seriously crippled and forever reduced in scope and scale is also ridiculous.

  • JeremyR||

    She has a point though - the Mafia didn't disappear when alcohol was made legal.

    The real problem is corruption of the Latin American governments from top to bottom, and a culture that condones it (as well as thuggery in general).

    We're certainly not immune to it, Chicago for instance. But all of Latin America is essentially Chicago.

    I'm certainly for legalization, but let's not think that it's going to suddenly turn Latin America into a peaceful, harmonious utopia. Especially if legalization comes with taxation.

  • Sevo||

    JeremyR| 11.29.12 @ 8:29PM |#
    "but let's not think that it's going to suddenly turn Latin America into a peaceful, harmonious utopia."

    Suddenly doesn't matter. What matters is whether you're efforts are positive or negative; the trend will suffice.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Latin America as a whole is headed in the right direction. It's a region I'm somewhat optimistic for.

  • Sevo||

    How so?
    Even in the absence of thugs like Chavez, the entire area seems mired in 'populism'.

  • Calidissident||

    It is, but it is moving away from that, as Cyto said. Still a long way to go. Some places have done a really good job. Chile is more economically free than the US

  • ||

    Like I give a shit about Latin America. I just think people should be able to spend their own money on their own pleasures. You know, that whole freedom and self-determination thing.

  • juris imprudent||

    I just think people should be able to spend their own money on their own pleasures.

    I believe Noreen Malone set us all straight on that.

  • Zeb||

    True, they are not going to go away. But they will lose a shit load of money if drugs are legalized.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    those who are making so much money selling, they have to be stopped.

    I suppose it would be the height of folly to ask why.

  • ||

    Profit is bad. IT JUST IS.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    the Mafia didn't disappear when alcohol was made legal.

    But an entire classification of criminality did. Millions of individuals were suddenly made more free. But that doesn't matter to people like you and Hillary Clinton.

  • Generic Stranger||

    They also had to move on to less profitable things, and their power was diminished because of it.

  • juris imprudent||

    Narcotics less profitable than booze?

  • SIV||

    Much smaller market for narcotics back then. It took decade of pushers handing out free samples on school playgrounds to create one.

  • Calidissident||

    Gee, if only there was a way to get rid of the illegal narcotics market ...

  • Sevo||

    OT:
    Just ran onto this, never saw it in Democracy in America. Is it his, or should it be credited to the usual suspects?

    "It covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd."

    - Alexis de Tocqueville on soft despotism

  • ||

    What else does this nitwit (Hillary) advise Obama about?
    Oh! She's the U.S. Secretary of State?
    Explains a lot.

  • SAL||

    The war on drugs is a religious one. Never mind that drug demand is largely inelastic; or that many more people die because of prohibition per se than are "saved" because prohibition dissuaded them from using drugs; or, incidentally, that every person owns his body. The whole situation is so depressing that I feel prone to start using drugs.

  • SIV||

    It's a public health war so yes, I'd say it is religious. And not just metaphoricaly.

  • ||

    VRACHI UBIJTSY, KOTORYX TOVARISHHAM!

  • Ted S.||

    Are you sure you've got the grammar correct? I mean, I recognize all the words:

    DOCTOR ASSASSINS, WHICH COMRADES!

    But they don't make sense put together. :-p

  • ||

    Oops! You're right! It should be "s kotoryx", meaning "with whom friends" literally. It's colloquial, Ted, and a reference to "The Doctor's Plot."

    SIV has advocated eliminating public health types, by, and I quote, "...any means necessary."

  • ||

    First honest thing I have heard Hillary say. About the money, I mean.

  • John C. Randolph||

    The hallmark of that harpy's career is depraved indifference to human suffering. Of COURSE she's in favor of the drug war, it's tailor made for rationalizing power grabs.

    -jcr

  • Sevo||

    "it's tailor made for rationalizing power grabs."

    Yep, that would drag her from under the sofa; POWER!

  • SIV||

    Anybody else watching the Falcons game? I'm at home so it's on the rabbit ears TeeVee.

  • SIV||

    That should do it.

  • SIV||

    Maybe not...

  • Wintermute||

    Hillary Clinton is a bullshit hypocritical Fascist scumbag.

  • Shmurphy||

    "I think when you've got ruthless vicious people who have made money one way and it's somehow blocked, they'll figure out another way," she said. "They'll do kidnapping they'll do extortion."

    So... can we take this as an admission that it is not, in fact, the drugs that are the problem?

  • Sevo||

    You think maybe she's talking about the cops?

  • Shmurphy||

    The cops, the governments, the socio-economic situations... all of those things are the real problems in Central American countries. Clearly there is a lack of legitimate opportunities, and currently selling drugs provides a high income for people who otherwise might be close to starving.

    So no, I doubt that's what she -actually- meant. Still, I'll interpret it as such because she's a mean bitch and it would piss her off.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: JeremyR,

    She has a point though - the Mafia didn't disappear when alcohol was made legal.


    And that is supposed to mean something?

    The real problem is corruption of the Latin American governments


    No, the problem is still the war on consumption. Latin American governments have been corrupt for decades.

    I'm certainly for legalization, but let's not think that it's going to suddenly turn Latin America into a peaceful, harmonious utopia.


    You go ahead and think what you want. I believe that ending the war on consumption will turn Latin America into less a war zone and more a normal place.

  • OldMexican||

    [...] the Obama administration, and Clinton in particular, are opposed to legalizing drugs[...]


    It won't be long before our resident lefties start defending the war on drugs, just because their team is the one in power.

  • Killazontherun||

    One thing I've learned this evening gentlepeeps, oh, OT, btw, you do not play drinking games with Russian vodka, Russian vodka plays drinking games with you.

    Light work schedule tomorrow, but I know I'm pretty much fucked.

  • ||

    Ukrainian vodka is worse, I assure you. -)

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    Russian Standard makes me have best dream of warm russian woman on cold siberian night

  • ||

    More on vodka (horilka) in UKR.

    Hortitsea, Nemiroff, Medoff are pretty popular brands here.

  • Killazontherun||

    Ha! Not as bad a hangover as I imagined. This liver is still amazing after all of these years.

    The brand has the Cryelic letters -- Pyccknn CTAHA(ish)APT.

  • Killazontherun||

    Cyrillic, I mean. Not that imperial piss water Whiterun guards are so found of with their 'emperor's' visage blazoned on it.

  • ||

    The (ish) is the letter "Dje" (Deh). The same brand referenced by Archduke PF. -)

  • Ted S.||

    My first vodka experience was on an overnight train between Riga and Sankt-Peterburg, with a brands of vodka called "Russkaya Vodka". The other students only had soda for a chaser, and I don't like carbonated beverages, so I ended up having sausage as a chaser.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    HEY BEARDO

  • ||

    That's hilarious! Those guys sure are serious about their fur. Some of the are impressive. Which reminds me, did you get your prostate checked this month, Archduchy? -)

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    DA

  • Mike Laursen||

    So much for democracy.

  • Brian from Texas||

    Bitch.

  • DWC||

    I think the word you're looking for is "cunt".

  • Loki||

    "Our inability to prevent deliberately allowing weapons from being to be illegally smuggled across the border to arm these criminals causes the deaths of police officers, soldiers and civilians."

    FTFY, you stupid mendacious cunt.

    those who are making so much money selling, they have to be stopped.

    Something tells me she's not just refering to drug trafficers here.

  • Monkey's Uncle||

    Hillary Clinton continues to prove that the assertions made by Christopher Hitchens about both her and Bill in 'No One Left To Lie To' were and continue to be right on the money.

  • John C. Randolph||

    That was some of Hitchens' finest work.

    -jcr

  • XM||

    Before the election, let's say in September, Obama would have surely "evolved" on drug legalization if it was a more prominent issue and there were votes to be harvested.

    But he won, and he can't win reelection. What's he got to gain? The media loves to sensationalize drug news, and the left will turn on the drug industry (they already hate big pharma) when anything bigger than mom and pop stores tries to get in on the fun.

  • Windbreaker||

    Mena Airport. Barry Seal. Google.

  • CZmacure||

    what i dont understand is...
    if americans have so many guns.. why is she still alive?

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