Halting The Cartels

Former anti-narcotics officer Terry Nelson says - the only way to halt the drug cartels is to legalize drugs.

As a retired federal officer with over three decades of service, many of those years spent fighting America's "war on drugs," I was pleased to read that the El Paso City Council unanimously called for a long overdue discussion on the effectiveness of our nation's drug policies.

You might be surprised that a veteran anti-drug agent would be glad the council specifically said drug legalization should be included in this new national conversation.

But in my view, based on what I saw on both sides of the border over my career, ending drug prohibition is the only sure-fire way to end the cartel violence that is terrorizing El Paso's sister city of Ciudad Juárez and others across Mexico.

The cartel leaders who control illegal drug production and distribution never hesitate to kill each other, police or anyone who stands in the way of their rich profits.

And the alarming increase in illegal drug-market violence Mexico has seen over the last two years is because of -- and not despite -- President Felipe Calderon's ramped-up war against traffickers. As top bosses are busted, others violently struggle to take their place, and the cycle continues.

Only when we take away their profit margins by legalizing drugs will the cartels' financial incentive for murder disappear.

Nice to hear it from an expert in the field.

Cross Posted at Power and Control

posted by Simon on 01.12.09 at 02:06 PM


One of the things I haven't heard an explanation for is how legalized drugs will handle liability.

Right now, people who smoke cigarettes have sued all sorts of companies for being liable for their addiction and health problems even though cigarettes are a legal product.

If a bartender serves someone too much alcohol, and that patron injures someone in a DUI accident, the bartender and bar owner are sued.

How will companies that sell legalized heroin deal with this?

If narcotics are legalized,I'm sure companies that want to sell heroin will have to deal with this issue.

I can't imagine a world where families won't sue companies for getting their teenager (or mother, father, uncle, etc) hooked on whatever drugs they sell.

I'm asking this as an honest question. I just don't understand how this would work.


Andy   ·  January 13, 2009 4:30 PM

Grow your own is one answer.

Charge enough for the product to cover liability.

Sign an informed consent waver.

M. Simon   ·  January 13, 2009 7:30 PM

It's hard for me determine how much they would have to charge so that liability would be covered.

I'm not talking about pot here either. If "drugs" were legalized, it would have to be coke, meth and heroin too right?

With those later drugs, it doesn't week like those that use those end up in a good place. At least that's what it seems like to me based on what I read. I have no first hand knowledge.

So when a family sues a company for "ruining" their child's life by getting them addicted to meth or heroin, how many millions would they have to shell out? Lots I imagine. the cartels don't have to factor in these costs into their product price. They do have to figure in bribes, protection money, money for violence, etc.

I wonder what the cost structure would be between the two. I don't know.

I don't believe a consent waiver would be worth anything. People sue cigarette companies and people have known for decades that it's bad for you. People create pre-nuptial agreements that get thrown out all the time. I feel that there's very little personal responsibility these days.

Everyone knows heroin can be devastating and they still do it.

I don't know know the answers here.

Andy   ·  January 16, 2009 10:18 AM


First off: drugs are not addictive. About 10% of those who try heroin or cocaine become drugaholics. Surprisingly about 10% of those who try alcohol become alcoholics and you know what? It is usually the same people.

The NIDA says addiction is a genetic disease:

Addiction Is A Genetic Disease.

And what is the biggest devastation of heroin? Illegality makes it expensive. High volume mfg should be able to produce it for $100 a kg. That is 10¢ a gram. A gram of heroin is a very large amount. An very heavy user should be able to get by on 15¢ a day.


. . . it was immediately apparent to us that the actual deleterious effects of addiction on the addicts and on society, should be clearly understood. . . . To our surprise we have not been able to locate even one scientific study on the proved harmful effects of addiction. Earlier investigators had apparently assumed that the ill effects were so obvious as not to need scientific verification. ... We have assembled over 500 documents on various phases of addiction . . ., but not one of them offers a clear-cut, scientifically valid statement on this problem.

You know - it would be nice if our government and media wasn't lying to us.

M. Simon   ·  January 16, 2009 11:30 AM

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