In just the past few weeks, several prominent voices have joined the call for at least the beginning of a public discussion drug legalization—not, of course, to advocate drug usage, but to debate the ramifications for crime, prevention, treatment, prisons, etc.
Just this week we heard Pat Robertson join the call, and now Costa Rican president Laura Chinchilla:
Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla has added her voice to the rising clamor for discussions on drug legalization as an alternative to the current state of affairs, in which Central American nations see themselves as increasingly threatened by the illicit drug trade. The discussion should go on even if the US opposes it, Chinchilla said.
“If we keep doing what we have been when the results today are worse than 10 years ago, we’ll never get anywhere and could wind up like Mexico or Colombia,” Chinchilla said in San Jose Wednesday in remarks reported by Bloomberg Business News. There needs to be a “serious” discussion of legalization even if the US disagrees, because Central American nations are “paying a very high price” and “we have the right to discuss it,” she added.
So far the US has disagreed, as earlier this week Joe Biden told Mexico the US remained firmly opposed even to discussing the issue seriously. He sarcastically quipped:
“I think it warrants a discussion. It is totally legitimate,” he said. “And the reason it warrants a discussion is, on examination you realize there are more problems with legalization than with nonlegalization.”
Likewise, Homeland Security “Big Sister” Janet Napolitano said flatly that legalization ”is not the way” to address the problem.
Many people are beginning to realize that while drugs are a difficult issue, the government-led war on drugs causes more problems and worsens the drug problem while stopping very little of it and solving none of it.