By Warren P. Strobel, McClatchy Newspapers – 1 hr 7 mins ago
MEXICO CITY — The United States is at least as responsible as Mexico for the violent drug wars that are roiling its southern neighbor because of an insatiable U.S. market for narcotics, the failure to stop weapons smuggling southward and a three-decade "war" on drugs that "has not worked," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday.
"Our insatiable demand for illegal drugs fuels the drug trade. Our inability to prevent weapons from being illegally smuggled across the border to arm these criminals causes the deaths of police officers, soldiers and civilians," Clinton said.
"How could anyone conclude any differently? . . . I feel very strongly we have co-responsibility," she said.
Clinton's blunt remarks as she flew to Mexico were the clearest by any senior U.S. official in recent memory that American habits and government policies have stoked the drug trade and a spreading epidemic of criminal violence in northern Mexico .
Stepping beyond strictly foreign-policy issues, the secretary of state hinted at major changes to come in the Obama administration's domestic drug-control strategy, with more emphasis on reducing demand and on treatment programs for drug abusers.
"It's not working," she said of the current approach.
"We have certainly been pursuing these strategies for . . . a long time. I remember Mrs. Reagan's 'just say no,' " Clinton said, referring to former first lady Nancy Reagan's exhortation to young people to refuse drugs. "It's been very difficult."
I've only heard very few politicians ever utter such truthful words. The American led 'War on Drugs' has destabilized entire nations (that's what it was intended to do)and Mexico is on the verge of being a failed state because of it. Despite US drug laws we consume more illicit drugs than any other developed nation on earth. Tougher laws do not translate into demand reduction. Locking millions of us in prison for using drugs does not translate to reduced demand either.
I hate to sound too hopeful here but, it looks as if major, positive policy changes with regard to the drug war are headed our way. They are long, long over due. I encourage everyone to go and vote in the latest round of questions at the Open for Questions website. Many of the current questions leading the categories are related to the failed drug war and the need to legalize marijuana to end the Mexican drug violence, raise revenue for the economy and create jobs for the millions of Americans who now find themselves without one.