Wednesday, May 18, 2016

How To End the Drug War (And Win)

I watched Sicario. This was a movie about the mexican drug wars along the border. It seems like they got fascinated with realism, and then forgot about adhering to feminist doctrine. I'll say it was interesting, but I don't think it is really recommendable.

But, of course, whatever it was they meant to convey- I kept thinking, you can out compete these losers. You can provide a higher quality product, you can provide it cheaper, and you can just go directly to Columbia. Completely skip Mexico, and these armies lose their funding.

And you can do this even if you want to keep it illegal.

It is pretty simple to out compete the Mexicans. It would probably take five to ten years to suck all the energy out of them. Maybe even play the little military games hinted at in that movie- but the real killing punch is taking trade away from them.

Meanwhile, it also takes about ten years for addicts to die. Of course, some don't really do the addict thing, but imagine you've got whatever population you've got now buying the drugs. So, you have your little clandestine agency step in. Go to Columbia and buy as close to farm as possible- if you can get leaf and then process it in a better place, great. You want a better drug. You meet the market demand. With a better, safer version.

And if you are fundamentally against cocaine, well suddenly you are in a position to actually influence its use. After a few years of meeting the market demand, the Mexican supply lines have collapsed. They probably do some desperate fighting here and there, but in five or so years, you are the only place to shop for the stuff. You can reduce the supply. Turn away new customers.

On the other side, with you as the biggest buyer of the raw materials, you set the price of those raw materials. No one else is there, so you start pushing the price down until less is grown. Farmers start planting other things because they need a profit.

I am still convinced that legalizing this stuff would be the most rapid way to a good outcome. I am pretty sure that a government agency, once it found itself with this lucrative source of funds, would not shut it down, and perhaps even encourage its use. Great excuse- or perhaps valid point, I don't know- to sell it more cheaply and more widely: to help shut down meth labs. Though, you'd have to have slightly different product lines, so that the elitist snobs feel they aren't acting like rednecks.

But, even if it were a government agency- provided that this government agency were run by people smarter than the average Mexican gangster- then there would be less violence. Even in clandestine circles, mass graves will look bad on the resume. It isn't just a matter of morals, but enlightened self-interest.

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