By "Radical" Russ Belville
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was interviewed by Denise Maerker of Televisa in Mexico.
QUESTION: In Mexico, there are those who propose not keeping going with this battle and legalize drug trafficking and consumption. What is your opinion?
SECRETARY CLINTON: I don’t think that will work. I mean, I hear the same debate. I hear it in my country. It is not likely to work. There is just too much money in it, and I don’t think that – you can legalize small amounts for possession, but those who are making so much money selling, they have to be stopped. They can’t be given an even easier road to take, because they will then find it in their interest to addict even more young people. Mexico didn’t have much of a drug problem before the last 10 years, and you want to keep it that way. So you don’t want to give any excuse to the drug traffickers to be able legally to addict young people.
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QUESTION: But in the United States there [is] more and more tolerance for marijuana, right?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Mm-hmm.
QUESTION: So this doesn’t seem right. Like the tolerance in the United States, and here we are killing each other for this product.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, the tolerance is in a very limited arena. It is for medical –
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QUESTION: Medical use.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Medical use. And there are lots of regulations on it. So it’s not accurate to say, as I’ve heard some say, well, we’re legalizing marijuana. We are not. We are – the biggest – we have more people incarcerated, unfortunately, than any country in the world, and most of them are there because of some drug-related offense. So we know that this is not an easy struggle. We’ve been at it ourselves. But we also believe that you have to keep the pressure on the criminals; otherwise, they will just expand their operations, and then you do have to worry about more corruption, more problems with institutions.
Our Secretary of State just said it is a “very limited arena” with “lots of regulations on it” and that it is “[not] legalizing marijuana”.
Then she notes that we have the most prisoners in the world (2.3 million, or 23% of the world’s imprisoned) and says we need to “keep the pressure on the criminals”. Huh? Isn’t that what got us “most of them … there because of some drug-related offense?” How about we stop defining over half of them, the cannabis users, as criminals in the first place?