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Should Mexico's drug wars affect U.S. laws on marijuana use?

As the Obama administration presses Mexican President Felipe Calderon to stand firm in his costly, bloody military campaign against drug mafias, Mexican leaders are increasingly asking why their country should continue to attack cannabis traffickers and peasant pot farmers if the U.S. government is barely enforcing federal marijuana laws in the most populous state.

By Local Editors  |  September 9, 2010; 11:06 PM ET Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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This is a preposterously stated poll.

"Yes, we can't destabilize our neighbor"?

Really Washington Post, this is what its come down to?

The entire destabilization of Mexican border society is due fully to America's War on Drugs. Legalizing marijuana in California would allow for the legitimizing of local, state growers, taking a huge hit out of Mexico's marijuana revenues. So yes, Mexico's war on drugs (a war imported from the United States) should have an affect on US laws: encouraging the United States to legalize that drugs whose illegal sale is causing further destabilization.

Don't embarrass yourselves, Post. At the very least, rephrase your idiotic poll.

Posted by: stw9454 | September 9, 2010 11:26 PM

If we legalize pot and take the profit out of marijuana smuggling, they will still be fighting over other drugs that they will continue to smuggle. Should we legalize cocaine to stop the cocaine wars?

Those answers make no sense.

Posted by: reston75 | September 9, 2010 11:57 PM

I agree with STW9454. What a sorry excuse for a poll! I favor legalization of marijuana anyway, but wording a poll like this kind of limits the options, doesn't it?
We shouldn't let what is happening in another country influence our domestic laws. What is and has been happening in the US for over 40 years should be enough to tell anyone that legalizing marijuana would be better than what we've been doing.
I think we should legalize some of the other "recreational" drugs too, because the War on Drugs has become a war on the Constitution, and that is NOT acceptable. Some of my ancestors fought in the American Revolution to establish a nation where the rule of law, freedom, liberty and God-given rights were guaranteed to all. I'm sure they would be shocked and disgusted to see what the US has become.
At least if we legalize, regulate and tax the recreational drugs we'd have room in our prisons for violent criminals who are a real danger to society instead of our streets being unsafe because they are let out early to make room for idiots who have been arrested a time or two too many for possession of some illegal or illicit drug, and we'd have all the tax money for the drugs those people buy as well.
The War on Drugs has not made us safer. It's done just the opposite, and government has no reason to continue it. Lots of excuses, but no valid reasons.

Posted by: meand2 | September 10, 2010 12:08 AM

"Should we legalize cocaine to stop the cocaine wars?

Those answers make no sense."


Lots more people smoke pot than use cocaine, we could cut off more than half of the drug war if we legalize marijuana. In fact we could tax the crap out of it, it would still be much cheaper than it is now, we could use the taxes to pay for the other parts of your drug war.

That answer makes a lot of sense.

But making sense isn't your real problem, is it?

Posted by: eezmamata | September 10, 2010 2:19 AM

Politicians are hats off the most corrupt and perverse segment of any population around the world. Everywhere, they kill more, rape more, steal more, lie more than the rest of us. The idea that politicians are deciding on drug policy that affects tens of millions of people is frightening, because the only thing politicians are protecting is their own political careers. The well-being of people has no place in their hearts. It's like having a total stranger decide how you raise your children. From time to time, our apathy comes back to haunt us, when one of our kids goes to jail and gets a criminal record wrapped around their neck for smoking a joint.

Posted by: peaceandprotest | September 10, 2010 3:26 AM

yes, we can't destabilize our neighbor?

Isn't that what we've done already by forcing our drug war on them that is fueled by our drug use. Legalize and the problems will be vastly reduced. We need to end this corrupt war that is never meant to end just to be used as an excuse to give more power to the state.

Posted by: augustiswest | September 10, 2010 3:38 AM

You can't be serious! We created their so called "war on drugs." It's not even their war, it's ours. So should we pay attention? Of course. Legalize everything and get this war over with. We have no one to blame but ourselves for the blood bath along the southern border. Shame on you Washington Post. You know better.

Posted by: stephencalexander | September 10, 2010 8:32 AM

The US has created the drug wars in Mexico. 90% of the drugs they produce and traffic there are sold in the U.S. And 80% of the weapons confiscated from drug gangs that are traceable have been traced back to the U.S. It's our addiction and our loose gun laws that have created hell on earth in Mexican border towns. But then we act like it's their problem to solve, not ours. Shame on us.

Posted by: cpantelias | September 10, 2010 10:08 AM

The missing choice: No. Mexico should enforce Mexican laws and the US should enforce US laws.

I would have voted no, for the separation of Mexico and the US as two sovereign nations, but that doesn't mean I support legalization of marijuana.

Posted by: sscritic | September 10, 2010 10:45 AM

Mexico should follow the Dutch model and allow the establishment of "coffee shops" for the sale and consumption of marijuana. I guarantee many more tourism dollars would be spent in Mexico.

Posted by: kbockl | September 10, 2010 12:10 PM

We need those tourism dollars right here in California; and hopefully after November we'll have them.

Posted by: jonthom | September 12, 2010 2:04 AM

Someday the drug war will be seen for what it is - a moronic fiasco. The lesson from alcohol prohibition was that banning something that is not inherently criminal doesn't work and just feeds and finances criminals. At least there people figured it out and stopped it. The drug war, which provides 40 years of evidence that it doesn't work any better than alcohol prohibition and the criminals it creates and finances make Al Capone look like Mary Poppins, is still going strong with solid popular support.
And don’t forget that the drug war isn’t about not allowing people to get high or addicted. I can buy a bottle of whiskey and drink myself into a coma or a coffin with no legal problems at all as long as I’m over 21. This means the drug war also violates ‘equal protection under the law’.
The question now – since the U.S. Supreme Court has a well-established policy of never telling a solid majority of the voters something the solid majority of voters doesn’t want to hear – is how long will it take for ‘the people’ to wake up and stop this absurd farce. It’s going to be a loooong wait.

Posted by: cduwel | September 12, 2010 5:40 AM

Seems like 74% have no idea of the damage Marijuana can have{DOES HAVE} on our country, let alone on the 'Ego' who uses it!
Why, even California is awakening to the 'farce' of the Medical Marijuana issue.

Posted by: realtimer | September 12, 2010 6:05 AM

Do the people who think legalizing pot is really going to take the cartels out of it? Pot is so easy to grow that people will just grow it themselves and sell it cheaper than the govt taxed stuff. So, now you will have the govt chasing after "moonshiners" growing pot.
Will there be driving under the influence of pot laws put on the books?

Posted by: dbeins | September 12, 2010 8:08 AM

Lets Legalize Obama. Chief Chief3

Posted by: spk202 | September 12, 2010 8:26 AM

I also agree that the question is pretty badly worded.

But aside from that, YES we should legalize marijuana. If we regulated marijuana that we could sell in the US, it would have so many positive effects.
1. tax revenues
2. it is a safer "drug" than alcohol. I would much prefer my teenagers (though I will never tell them this) sneaking off to smoke a joint than sneaking off to drink alcohol. a. Have you ever heard of a "stoned driver" causing fatal crashes? Driving under the influence of alcohol is much more dangerous than under the influence of pot. b. addiction. Have you ever heard of a marijuana addict trying to kick the habit? Any marijuana addicts in rehab? no c. date rape. Anyone ever taken advantage of while stoned?
3. it would be a very successful legitimate business for the U.S.
4. if legal, it would be regulated.
5. cuts off connections to more dangerous drugs. For those who believe marijuana use leads to hard drugs, there is nothing inherent in marijuana that makes a person crave heroin. But to buy marijuana, they do have to interact with sellers of harder drugs, they are exposed to underground illegal drug activities and it goes from there.
6. and another commenter talked about prison. Take your stoners out of prison, save taxpayers money.
7. and oh yea, it would take the wind out of the Mexican marijuana trade.

Remember prohibition? Crime sure increased then!


Posted by: buyacme | September 12, 2010 8:30 AM

The solution lies in getting tough with pot smokers. It is they that enable and create the violence and corruption. So I say execute them. Not for smoking pot (that deserves only 30 years) but for promoting and being an accessory to all the murder and corruption they cause. Execute them! They aren't any good for America anyway. When all the pot smokers are gone the cartels will wither away and American will be a much stronger nation.

Posted by: fudador | September 12, 2010 8:36 AM

Do not answer the stupid questions!

We should legalize marijuana yes, but a good reason to do so is we can't destabilize Mexico as illegality currently does by supporting the drug cartels!

Posted by: GarrisonLiberty | September 12, 2010 8:41 AM

The very basis of the question is hopelessly out of touch? When is the last time America witnessed beer distributors engaged in open criminality and gun battles? Yes, that would have been prohibition. The drug war is the genesis of the problem. Not the solution. American's have been so relentlessly propagandized on the Drug War that we seem incapable of coming to grips with the utter failure of the project. And for you people who suggest that the answer is executing pot smokers - this is AMERICA NOT IRAN.

Posted by: HeavyD1 | September 12, 2010 8:44 AM

The only ones who benefit from current policy are law enforcement. They have a vested interested in demonizing marijuana. They love the the federal $$$$$$ being wasted on a failed policy. Legalization will increase revenue and significantly reduce cost of enforcement. It's a no brainer.

Posted by: AugustWest1 | September 12, 2010 9:05 AM

I think the only thing that would be destabilized by legalizing pot is the pot wing of every drug cartel operating in America.

Posted by: ickyfoot | September 12, 2010 9:21 AM

stupid question.

1) it's not mexico's drug war, it also ours -- war on drugs -- remember that phrase?

2) US drug laws are largely the cause of the problem in the first place

Posted by: 44fx2901 | September 12, 2010 9:48 AM

Look at your history folks...prohibiting does not work.
A naturally occurring plant that can be cultivated for medicine or pleasure has been here longer than our law makers. It will survive this election and a century more of them, lol!
Marijuana is something that can be grown in the privacy and security of your own home for personal use...how can it be regulated in that sense? It is akin to regulating a family garden. In fact, it is really is No different than the family garden that we feed our families from. But for those that can't garden, they buy from those that can produce on a larger scale.
So there is a need for a legal option for responsible folks.
And there it is....
PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY!
People have to make those choices, that we cannot control or regulate in the end.
Alcohol is legal and more people are killed every year due to over indulgence than those under the influence of cannabis.
It all boils down to choices.
I don't see an argument for keeping marijuana illegal when you have alcohol history and its current statistics.

Posted by: pnhnut | September 12, 2010 9:57 AM

Posted by: realtimer | September 12, 2010 6:05 AM
"Seems like 74% have no idea of the damage Marijuana can have{DOES HAVE} on our country, let alone on the 'Ego' who uses it!
Why, even California is awakening to the 'farce' of the Medical Marijuana issue."

Why don't you explain what damage "Marijuana can have{DOES HAVE} on our country, let alone on the 'Ego' who uses it!"
And before you say it "The only reason Marijuana is a gateway drug is because it is illegal".

Posted by: jonthom | September 12, 2010 2:04 AM
“We need those tourism dollars right here in California; and hopefully after November we'll have them.”

And what will happen in November to magically bring tourism dollars to California? Are 8.5 million jobs going to magically return to the U.S.?

Posted by: knjincvc | September 12, 2010 10:09 AM

The most dangerous thing about pot is that it's illegal, fueling gang warfare just like prohibition did during the 1920's. Anyone ever consider the coincidence that pot was made illegal soon after prohibition ended? Think some revenuers needed to keep their jobs? Randolf Hearst went off the deep end to demonize pot so hemp would not compete with his timber and paper empire. It's time to end the insane war on pot.

Posted by: keithens | September 12, 2010 10:47 AM

Personally, I can begin to understand why Messico believes it should be telling US how things should be.

At the Rate O'Bozo and all the other Traitors are allowing and SUPPORTING La Invasora y Reconquista!;

it becomes only natural that Presidente Cabrone feels a need to protect HIS Assets!

Posted by: SAINT---The | September 12, 2010 11:17 AM

"Personally, I can begin to understand why Messico believes it should be telling US how things should be.
it becomes only natural that Presidente Cabrone feels a need to protect HIS Assets!"

Why not, Mexican President Felipe Calderon had his impudent Chihuahua bush for 8 years to protect his assets.

Posted by: knjincvc | September 12, 2010 11:32 AM

I love this dumb poll! Any of the choices is pro legalization. Wonder how much pot the author of this typical sham uses daily.

Posted by: Hoople1 | September 12, 2010 11:41 AM

The bigger question is does Mexico want us to legalize marijuana?

Currently Mexico receives financial compensation in the drug war. If the laws change here, then there would be less financial renumeration available to the Mexican government. Combined with a loss of illegal funds crossing the border, there would be a significant drop in American dollars flowing into Mexico's coffers.

Perhaps your poll should have reflected Mexico's incentives to keep the status quo instead of the poorly worded choices presented.

Posted by: JenAZ | September 12, 2010 1:00 PM

The Mexican Drug Cartels are not the bad guys!

They are business men providing a product (illegal drugs) to USA consumers.

The USA has a serious drug addiction problem. We need to fix our problem here at home! Our government and media has made Mexico look like the bad guy.

Instead of sending Millions $$$ of USA dollars to the Mexican government to fight the drug cartels the USA should be investing $$$ in helping drug addicts stay clean through support/counseling and reabilitation programs nationwide. And possibly legalizing marijuana and cocaine.

Posted by: mjsalazar917 | September 12, 2010 8:40 PM

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