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Latins Stage an Intervention: Uncle Sam Blows Them Off

Interventions in the western hemisphere typically involve US Marines in Latin American countries, but this month has seen a different kind of intervention: Latin Americans telling Uncle Sam that he’s got to do something about his drug habit.  The Washington Post reports:

Alongside official declarations, Latin American governments have expressed growing disgust for U.S. drug consumers — both the addict and the weekend recreational user heedless to the misery and destruction paid for their pleasures.

“Our region is seriously threatened by organized crime, but there is very little responsibility taken by the drug-consuming countries,” Guatemala’s President Alvaro Colom said at a December meeting of Latin leaders in Caracas. Colom said the hemisphere was paying the price for drug consumption in the United States with “our blood, our fear and our human sacrifice.”

This is a good point. For all the problems drug use and addiction cause in the U.S. — and there are many — the impact on the drug-producing countries of Latin America is greater still. Governments in Colombia and Mexico seem to be trying their best to deal with the drug trade and its associated violence, but with little success — as long as Americans are using drugs, the cartels will find a way to bring them here.

America should heed their advice — society should take a stronger stand against recreational drug use. Hollywood, in particular, needs to clean up its act; movies that promote drug use have become increasingly accepted and common, and it is naive to believe that this has no impact on our society. The drug trade is destroying communities from Colombia to Saskatchewan, public figures should have the courage to call out drug use for the destructive force that it is.

Actors, musicians and other cultural figures who flaunt their drug use are not only endangering the welfare of poor kids here who will take them for role models; they are helping to murder innocent people and to undermine the stability and prosperity of the countries around us.  Music companies and film companies who make money from cultural products that celebrate drugs are violating basic standards of decency.  A culture that worries about fair trade coffee beans but indulges drug use is empty, clueless and vain.

That is not a bad description of the entertainment-industrial complex in the United States; widespread tolerance of the drug use that wreaks such immense devastation on our neighbors in this hemisphere reveals the hollowness and hypocrisy of Hollywood’s moral poseurs. Until Hollywood takes a strong and effective moral stand against drugs, it needs to shut up.

Lefties always tell us we should listen to the third world more; this Latin intervention might be a good time to start.  Uncle Sam, listen up: the culture of drugs is a culture of death.

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  • matt

    At least for marijuana, Latino and black kids are the largest consumer by volume for the younger generation. Drug use is just another vice affecting those sociology-economic groups.

  • Some Sock Puppet

    While your cause and effect is correct, your stance against drugs seems a little too harsh. Cannibis is a medical wonder drug. Prohibition must be lifted. The drug was has been a disaster for all involved.

  • Hu Ngu

    “…as long as Americans are using drugs, the cartels will find a way to bring them here.”

    “…as long as irresponsible Chinese are using opium, the poor beleaguered Brits will find a way to take it there.” WRM.1811

    Can we really blame tens of thousands of stoned American 8th graders for a few dozen cartel beheadings in Veracruz?

  • Pedro Marquez

    The serious Latin American voices on this issue are the ones, like Fernando Cardoso, calling for an end to the WOD. The governments described here are just playing a hypocritical game of blame the Yanqui for domestic consumption. Do they seriously believe Americans are going to stop using drugs? No, because they know that Mexicans, Brazilians and Colombians also use drugs– has Via Meadia never been to parties in Rio or Bogota? The fact that America is a huge, rich country where many drugs won’t grow means that the dealers can charge top dollar here, and thus it’s American consumption–or rather, the American prohibition of it– that creates international organized crime.

  • Xmas

    More South American leaders should go the Evo Morales route…legalize the production and tax it. They’ll probable rake in more American dollars that way than they will suckling at the US WarOnDrugs(tm) teat. Heck, those drug cartels are starting to build their own submarines now. They should capture as much of that innovation as possible.

  • Benjamin W.

    I heartily concur with those in favor of legalization and taxation of these commodities.

    Law enforcement groups are clearly incapable of stemming the tide of something which people are demanding in high quantities. Better to regulate and allow those with responsible, non-violent practices to profit from the enterprise. The draconian approach we’ve adopted is expensive and impotent.

    Nothing would benefit Latin America more than us coming to grips with the real demand that exists for these products.

  • Jim.

    Welcome to the internet, Professor Mead, where people with no families and a penchant for anarchy congregate before they get jobs and life responsibilities that require sobriety, and teach the need for temperance.

    Bravo for taking the right stand on this.

    The rest of you– Grow up.

  • dr kill

    Is that the Jim who commands the SWAT in LA County and stands to retire on 160k a year and wear a really cool black uniform and shoot really great weapons? Not to mention break down the wrong doors and shoot family pets? And I should grow up?
    Is that you. Jimbo?

    How about this for a start. Legalize pot. Drug test for employment and entitlement programs. And don’t forget to test and lie detect our law enforcement community. Otherwise butt out. Grow up indeed.

  • BD

    Wow. This is the first post from WRM that I have 100% disagreed with. Only someone who has no personal experience with marijuana could believe it should be illegal. Alcohol is far more destructive, both in the context of one night of usage, and in the context of months and months of addiction (note: I don’t believe physical addiction to marijuana is possible … from experience too). I’m not saying heroin should be sold at stores but people against pot should be advocating a return to prohibition for alcohol too (and alcohol is worse).

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