Drugs and guns have some things in common
By Seth Richardson
The election is over and the people of Colorado have spoken out loud and clear about recreational use of marijuana. Whatever the Drug Enforcement Agency thinks, the state constitutional amendment passed by voters achieves one important goal; it forbids state and local law enforcement to harass, ticket or arrest pot users for growing, possessing, smoking, eating or selling less than one ounce of marijuana.
It’s unlikely that the Feds are going to waste their resources harassing individual pot users, but it’s all but certain that until federal law is changed, which it should be under President Obama in his lame-duck term if he has any guts at all, major growers, drug cartels and those who profit from the drug trade will still be under the gun.
And speaking of guns, it seems that President-elect Enrique Pena Neito’s main adviser is “rethinking” Mexico’s commitment to putting a stop to marijuana smuggling across the border. Because the plant is now legal in some states, Luis Videgaray, head of the new President’s transition team seems to believe that Mexico may not have any obligation to prevent drug smuggling across the border. Not that Mexico has ever had any real interest in securing its border with the United States to begin with.
Far too much money flows south into Mexico from both drug smuggling and human trafficking operations that Mexico has for decades pretended it wants to prevent. It’s been an open joke to everyone but the politicians who try to garner votes on both sides of the border for at least 50 years. Mexico has no desire to halt illegal border crossing by anyone, so it’s efforts to secure its own borders are virtually non-existent.
So what’s all this about guns?
Well, one thing Mexico, and the Obama administration have been carping about is the alleged massive gun-running operation from our border states into Mexico which, they claim, is fueling drug cartel violence. Mexico’s border towns have become killing fields as the cartels war with one another, and hundreds if not thousands of innocent Mexican citizens have been slaughtered in the out-and-out uncivil war going on in Mexico…in large part thanks to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which has been illegally exporting thousands of U.S. firearms to Mexico for some time now. One of the sub-rosa intents of this program has been to justify more restrictions on U.S. gun dealers and firearms owners by falsely claiming that the American gun market is “supplying the cartels” with guns.
This violence, which is spilling over into the United States in places like El Paso and Phoenix, among other U.S. border towns, was only exacerbated by the ill-advised and flatly illegal gunrunning schemes orchestrated by the Obama administration. The scandal of Operation Fast and Furious has fallen off the media’s radar what with hurricane Sandy and the election, but people are still dying on the border, including our own Border Patrol agents.
Don’t expect Obama or Attorney General Eric Holder to be held to account for these felonies, which it’s clear they knew of and approved all along, because the fox is still guarding the henhouse and Holder’s minions will quash any attempts to get to the truth or hold anyone responsible, including the President, accountable for their criminal acts. That’s just business as usual in Washington.
But back to Mexico’s “rethinking” of its anti-smuggling policies. The implication appears to be that since pot is now legal in several states, presumably trafficking in marijuana ought to fall under the North Amerian Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and Mexican drug cartels ought to be given a free pass to import as much “legal marijuana” as they like for U.S. consumption. I may be stretching Videgaray’s intent here, but I have a good reason to do so.
My question is how does that implication square with Mexico’s objections to the smuggling of guns into Mexico? Believe it or not, guns are legal in Mexico, though factually and practically nobody can succeed in getting a permit to possess one except perhaps corrupt government officials and their drug-cartel friends. Not all guns of course and not in all places, but that’s exactly the same as Mexico’s argument about pot.
This only makes sense. If the United States wants to stop drug smuggling, then it’s up to the United States to use its law enforcement and military resources to seal the border and prevent that smuggling. Mexico’s certainly not going to do it. In fact, the Mexican Army has been caught on many occasions hauling pot loads across the Rio Grande in Humvees provided to them by the United States, and Mexican Army personnel have not infrequently fired on U.S. Border Patrol agents from across the border in order to protect those loads, including firing on agents with .50 caliber Browning M2 heavy machine-guns also supplied to Mexico by the United States.
So, if Mexico doesn’t want people to import firearms into Mexico, it’s up to Mexico to seal its side of the border to prevent that smuggling, just as it’s our duty to seal our border to prevent drug smuggling and human trafficking.
Marijuana may be legal in Colorado and other states, but that doesn’t mean we have to allow it to be imported in bulk from Mexico.
Seal the border against drugs and human trafficking using the U.S. military troops who are being recalled from Iraq and Afghanistan. That’s what our military is for, after all, securing our own borders, not nation-building half a world away. Let Mexico seal its border against gun smuggling if it wants to do so.
© 2012 Altnews