Today I received an email with an article by Arizona State Senator Sylvia Allen. You can read what she has to say here:
I think Senator Allen actually makes a few good points. The Mexican drug cartels clearly are causing a lot of people some very serious trouble. The violence associated with them is often horrific. Ranchers along the border SHOULD be assisted in warding off these hooligans.
Yet the question that I would like to raise here is this: is the problem here really the illegal immigration? Or is the REAL problem the illegal DRUGS?
Many parts of northern Mexico--cities such as Juarez, in particular--have been struggling for quite some time with elevated levels of violence due to the drug cartels. This is not a concern for America alone. This is a concern for both America and Mexico.
So how do we resolve this issue? It's quite simple, really. We just legalize all of those drugs that the Mexicans are smuggling in. If Americans are able to buy these drugs from their doctors or at a drug store, then they won't need Mexicans to smuggle it in to them. The Mexican drug cartels will no longer have demand in America, so they will stop supplying it to America.
Why is there so much violence associated with the drug cartels? It's because drug dealers have a lot at stake. Drug dealing is a great way to get a lot of money very quickly. People who are really addicted to drugs NEED their highs. They will do ANYTHING to get their drugs--and they will PAY anything for them, too. Throw a bunch of different drug dealing businesses into one place, and they're bound to fight. Each wants to be the last one standing so that they can reap the profits of their drug sales at whatever price they want.
Senator Mike Gravel, during the 2008 Presidential Election, emphasized the importance of ending the "War on Drugs." Perhaps he thought it was important to end the drug war because of the absurd prison sentences, such as 99 years for marijuana possession--a much harsher sentence than is sometimes assigned to people convicted of murder! However, could it be that he already knew that if we did not do something, then the Mexican competition in the illegal drug market would turn to this? Regardless of his reasons for recommending this course of action at the time, what is certain is that we really should have listened to him.