WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The new anti-drug initiative for the Southwestern border announced today by the Obama administration is doomed to failure because it simply dresses up failed policies in new clothing, the Marijuana Policy Project charged today.
"The new plan simply calls for rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic," said MPP director of government relations Aaron Houston. "The plan ignores the central problem, which is that our policy of marijuana prohibition has handed the Mexican cartels a massive market that keeps them rolling in cash, not just in Mexico, but according to the Department of Justice, in 230 American cities."
Houston noted that federal officials have stated that 60 to 70 percent of the cartels' profits come from the marijuana trade, and that the Mexican government seems to be signaling its unhappiness with the United States' current policy. "The Mexican Congress strategically scheduled consideration of legislation to remove criminal penalties for marijuana possession to coincide with President Obama's trip there," Houston said. He also noted that Mexican ambassador to the U.S. Arturo Sarukhán called for the debate on regulating and taxing marijuana to be "taken seriously on both sides of the border" on national television.
"Rather than trying to make America's 15 million monthly marijuana consumers go away, we need to gain control of this market by regulating marijuana like we do beer, wine and liquor," Houston said. "Any anti-drug effort that leaves the marijuana trade in the hands of the cartels is nothing but a full-employment plan for professional drug warriors and cartel bosses alike, not a serious proposal to address the problem."
With more than 27,000 members and 100,000 e-mail subscribers nationwide, the Marijuana Policy Project is the largest marijuana policy reform organization in the United States. MPP believes that the best way to minimize the harm associated with marijuana is to regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol. For more information, please visit http://MarijuanaPolicy.org.