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Posts Tagged ‘Pablo Escobar’

CONSEQUENCES of the ZERO TOLERANCE APPROACHES

In Cuerbitch on February 14, 2013 at 11:35 am

It’s been four decades since the president of United States, Richard Nixon, declared war on drugs in response to the high rates of heroin and marihuana consumption, always following the position of “zero tolerance” encouraged by the conservative vision of the period. Seven more presidents have taken the position since then, but the approach to face this problem hasn’t changed, the consumption is still being criminalized, spreading the message through moralist propaganda, which is far from being effective, puts in evidence the lack of knowledge from the authorities in the matter.

Undoubtedly, the drug topic is multifaceted and extremely complex, but there are facts that we cannot overlooked. Nowadays exists a 230 millions market of drug consumers, the demand is clear; therefore the “drug free world” idea is simply utopian. But, which are the implications or collateral damages of this consumption being illegal?

Let’s start with the production, it’s not unknown that the so-called “developing countries” like Peru, Bolivia or Afghanistan (to name a few) are the producers, countries with a agricultural  heritage, countires who has been poor for centuries, countries where people grow “anything” that earns them a profit that sustains their families needs, in consequence, the eradication of  these income sources increases the economic and development gaps and increases social inconformity, turning these groups vulnerable and susceptible to become part of criminal circles, and of course enhancing the cycle of drug trafficking.

The next step is trafficking, which in 2005 already generated 320 million usd, representing 50% of the revenues linked to criminal acts, and that in countries as Colombia, generated social phenomenon such as Pablo Escobar, or Mexico, who’s actually living an unprecedented panorama since Felipe Calderón’s war on drugs declaration in 2006, who has “achieved” 47 000 deaths related to this “war”, an expense of 1 billion usd per year, and levels of insecurity, corruption and fear among the population never seen before, and it goes without saying that drug trafficking continues smoothly.

Finally, the retail distribution symbiosis in which drugs dealers and “junkies” (90% of the consumers are considered NON problematic, namely they use drugs for recreational purposes) fight to sustain a profitable interaction without compromising their freedom and public image, as of the other 10% (the problematic ones), is well known that keeping up with a drug addiction is, in average, 10 times more expensive than and alcohol or tobacco addiction, which causes economic pressure among addicts, bringing more problems such as HIV, prostitution and gun trafficking and a community decay.

Evidently the judgmental /conservative/moralist approach that has been taken for this problem is not working, it is time to rebuild our general vision of the problem, in first instance the consumers who are addicted to any kind of drugs are, before criminals, are in fact patients with a curable disease, the government must offer aid through support groups before criminalizing them. On the other hand, drug trafficking is a consequence of prohibition, a legalization scheme offers not only monetary benefits (capital infusions through taxes, new occupations, monumental savings due to anti-drug campaigns desist) but it would eliminate criminal and corruption circles, lowering the human capital casualties, regaining social stability and opening new possibilities of improvement by re-orienting these resources.

A regulated production and consumption, hand in hand with smart campaigns that, more than judge, educate consumers, it’s my opinion, a feasible way to the face a changing society that demands a paradigm shift, a more responsible and creative one.

For more information visit
www.breakingthetaboo.info
Special thanks for the statistical data
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