Thursday, August 29, 2013

U.S. will take no action against Colorado and Washington over marijuana legalization

MGR's view -
U.S. hypocrisy on legalization poses the question, who is committed to combating drugs?

Guadalajara -
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder informed the governors of Colorado and Washington earlier today that the Justice Dept. will take no legal action against either state, where recreational marijuana use laws went into effect last November.

Marijuana remains flatly prohibited by federal law. The Barack Obama administration had once suggested it might sue both states in federal court to compel revocation of their local ordinances. Today's decision means that neither will suffer any consequences for enacting laws which violate superseding statutes passed by Congress decades ago.

On April 24, U.S. drug czar Gil Kerlikowske said that the United States had a new approach to drug trafficking, which would focus on treatment, prevention and reducing America's huge demand. On eve of Obama visit to Mexico, U.S. drug czar releases "new strategy."

On a trip to Mexico City May 3, president Obama told thousands of young people, "drug legalization is not the answer."

Later that month vice president Joe Biden told the Latin press during a Q & A session that the U.S. would "not go down the road of legalization."

On July 16, referring to Mexico's 81 month old drug war which has cost well over 60,000 lives, Obama said, "We have to continue doing our part to reduce the demand for drugs in this country."

Earlier this year the U.S. Congress froze $234 million in drug war funds which it had agreed to give Mexico under the 2007 Mérida Initiative. Representatives argued that Mexico has not demonstrated a commitment to combating drugs. U.S. freezes Mérida Initiative funds promised to Mexico, approved by Congress. Some of that money was later released.

Just two weeks ago Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy said Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto is not doing enough to go after Mexico's 60-80 drug cartels, and to disrupt the narcotics trafficking industry. He blocked another $95 million dollars which should have been sent to the government months ago. Sen. Patrick Leahy freezes $95M in Mérida Initiative funds.

Today Leahy praised DOJ's decision to let the Colorado and Washington cannabis laws stand, saying "the Justice Department should focus on countering and prosecuting violent crime, while respecting the will of the states whose people have voted to legalize small amounts of marijuana for personal and medical use."

Leahy did not mention Mexico, or suggest how it might demonstrate its "commitment to combating drugs" in the same effective way the Obama administration and its chief law enforcement officer have.

"Living in Mexico is like living next door to the biggest drug addict in town" - Felipe Calderón Hinojosa

According to a January report by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the vast majority of Mexico's marijuana, cocaine and synthetic drug production is delivered to U.S. markets, where an estimated 33,000 street gangs assist in the distribution of the merchandise in as many as 1,286 American cities.

"Mexico remains the U.S. market’s largest supplier of heroin, marijuana and methamphetamine and the transshipment point for 95 percent of its cocaine," the Washington Post reported on April 27.

Most U.S. bound cocaine passes through, but does not originate, in Mexico. The narcotics trade is wreaking havoc with domestic security throughout Central America, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Guatemalan ambassador warns of growing Los Zeta drug cartel presence in his country.

In February 2012, the U.S. firmly rejected Guatemala's proposal to "open a dialog" on possible drug legalization, even marijuana. But what is unacceptable in Central America is fine in any U.S. state, Washington has apparently decided.

The new administration of PRI president Enrique Peña Nieto has no plans to consider decriminalizing marijuana or any other drug, despite the impetus for that north of the border. A widely reported public opinion poll last November showed that Mexicans are heavily opposed to drug legalization, and drug war security experts in this country have suggested that such would likely exacerbate, not reduce, the violence between Mexico's cartels. Mexico's incoming PRI government pays little attention to marijuana legalization efforts in U.S..

Meanwhile, Mexicans continue dying. Mexico admits 52 daily drug war deaths in EPN administration - 12,598 through July 31

Sept. 26, 2012 - "Drug users are killing thousands of young people in the developing nations," Felipe Calderón tells United Nations

July 28 - From Dec. 1 to July 15, Mexican armed forces seized or destroyed 456 tons of marijuana
Mar. 31 - Mexican drug traffickers find ready assistance in mules carrying American passports
Mar. 26 - Mexico's Sinaloa Cartel has 90% market domination in U.S., licensing sales territories
Dec. 12, 2011 - Obama: U.S. drug demand responsible for damage done to Mexico and other nations

© MGRR 2013. All rights reserved. This article may be cited or briefly quoted with proper attribution or a hyperlink, but not reproduced without permission.

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