Mexico: kindergarten teacher keeps class calm with song as narco gun massacre rages outside

Boing Boing reader GIFtheory says, "This video of a kindergarten teacher [near Monterrey, Mexico] beseeching her students to keep their heads on the floor while leading them in song is simultaneously the most horrifying and inspirational thing I've seen in a while."

Video Link.

(via BB Submitterator)


  1. Narco-assholes are sub-human. Sometimes I wish there was a hell, so they could go there.

    This teacher is super-human. She deserves a medal, a million bucks, and needs to be cloned.

    1. Jesus, Mexico, what the fuck?

      The United States homicide rate is among the highest in the industrialized world. So I’m sure some of the other industrialized countries are asking the same question when it comes to the USA.

      Well, anyway, this is a heartbreaking video. I can’t help but think legalization of marijuana and decriminalization of other drugs in the USA would make these scenarios less common in other countries that supply our drugs.

      Wonderful teacher, but then again, a lot of teachers are just that.

      1. No, not ‘less common.’

        This fighting is over money, basically. Legalization would instantly, overnight, 100% stop the flow of money to narco gangs.

        Legalization would not make this violence ‘less common,’ it would drastically reduce it to almost nothing.

        If any of these children had been killed, the blood would have been all over the hands of US politicians.

      2. The big difference between the two is the brutality of the Mexican cartels and the scope of their actions. We have gang violence, etc, but they have organized attacks with full auto weapons fighting federal police, assassinating civil leaders and police, and more or less occupying certain towns.

        If we stopped giving a fuck about illegal drugs the violence in Mexico and much of it in the US would disappear.

  2. “What the fuck” is the combination of the US’s long, long war on drugs and a neighboring country with an enormous gap between rich and poor. Legalize and regulate drugs, and the narco gangs would go the way of Prohibition’s bootleggers.

  3. Mexico, what the fuck?

    man, you really need to read twice before posting that kind of bullshit. Ever wonder what country is the biggest coke consumer in the world? thats right! heres a chocolate rain droplet and a golden star for you.

  4. When she sang about rain drops made of chocolate, to get the kids to keep their heads on the ground, I cried. These kids don’t deserve this.

    1. I didnt manage to catch what all the words were, my spanish aint too great. But i cried too.

  5. Most kids grow up to be ‘normal’ and when this environment is the norm they must not see anything objectionable about going out and joining the adults when the time comes. Victims and prerpitrators designed by their social circumstance.

    1. Sadly I think you are right. I always wonder why young Mexican men keep choosing to join these brutal groups when they know the odds of them ending up being tortured and decapitated or just murdered outright. Is being poor so bad that they’d rather choose that fate? Do they care so little for their families and their neighborhoods that they would inflict this on them? It looks like becoming a gang member has become the expected “career” path for a poor young Mexcian man now. Human life has lost any value for these young men (and the young woman who probably encourage them).

  6. “Legalization would instantly, overnight, 100% stop the flow of money to narco gangs.”

    Actually, no, legalization would probably INCREASE the violence, at least in the short term, because it’s impossible for all US states to legalize all at once. So Mexican cartels would compete even more fiercely over their shrinking market. So even if legalization were to start right now, we would see more horrific scenes like this, not less. Eventually they’d stop, yes — but if and only if all the states legalized (and the Feds went along with it.)

    God it’s so tiresome to read simplistic analyses, especially after heartbreaking videos like this. California, Mexican cartels’ biggest market, effectively decriminalized marijuana last year, and yet this shoot-out still happened.

    1. God it’s so tiresome to read simplistic analyses, especially after heartbreaking videos like this. California, Mexican cartels’ biggest market, effectively decriminalized marijuana last year, and yet this shoot-out still happened.

      Well, now that you mention “simplistic analyses”, I think you might want to focus a little more on all the other drugs in CA that are still quite illegal and the fact that marijuana is still overpriced because it’s not truly and effectively “decriminalized” despite what you say.

      1. My point is that California’s relative liberalization on selling and personal possession of pot hasn’t noticeably decreased Mexican drug violence, at all. That points to another problem: Even if some US states followed California’s lead, it’s unlikely we’d see a dramatic reduction of drug violence any time soon, and that will make other states slow to change their own laws. Arguing, “Well, you need to decriminalize *all* drugs *totally* to put a dent in crime!” is probably not a convincing argument for most voters.

        By the way, the RAND Corporation was very skeptical that outright legalization would make a difference (barring other variables):

        “Legalizing Marijuana in California Will Not Dramatically Reduce Mexican Drug Trafficking Revenues”

        1. How many rum runners are still out there? When was the last time a gangster busted in on a rival’s speakeasy and snatch up the bathtub gin? But hey, they had medicinal whiskey during Prohibition too. How’s that brewing industry doing now?

          Stop talking nonsense.

        2. Is any person, without having to buy expensive licenses or jump through beauracratic hoops, allowed to grow marijuana in their back yard for the cost of a spade and fertilizer..and give/sell it to their friends or anyone they so desire? The way they might with tomatoes?


          Then it’s not by any reasonable legalized.

          There are still artificial price supports, and thus still an inducement to crime.

        3. I don’t think pot is the main contributor to the violence as much as cocaine. It’s a hell of a drug.

          California makes a lot of its weed, thus importing it, and probably not affecting the Mexican issue a lot (IIRC most of the violence is near Texas).

          If matters little if some states legalize it, they have to deal with the US at the federal level to get it in. Even if the US suddenly said – ok – its all legal – come on over, there would be violence with Mexico trying to stop it going to the US or other countries.

          If Mexico would legalize the making of coke or what ever, the violence over there would disappear over night.

          People that doubt this need to read about prohibition because it is the EXACT SAME THING.

        4. By the way, the RAND Corporation was very skeptical that outright legalization would make a difference (barring other variables):

          “Legalizing Marijuana in California Will Not Dramatically Reduce Mexican Drug Trafficking Revenues”

          Please don’t insult my intelligence by sending me bullshit studies from full of shit conservative “think tanks” who’s studies are filled with half-truths and corporatist agendas.

          Thanks in advance in refraining from throwing shit at me like a monkey in the future.

        5. P.S. It’s also worth adding that saying that ‘partially rolling back prohibition would only partially solve the drug gang problem, so we shouldn’t roll back prohibition at all’ is a rather disingenuous stance.

        6. Legalization in the US won’t do a thing for the “drug war” in .mx….what we (we Mexicans living in Mexico) need to do is legalize and tax production and transportation of drugs…let the US deal with their junkies and the problems they create.

          That would get rid of the shootings fast…and give .mx a good deal of money for actually important stuff, like giving that teacher a huge bonus.

    2. Narcos have armies, and decommissioning armies has long been a difficult thing to do; however, it’s been done in the past and it can be done in the future. Just look at Northern Ireland: 20 years later things are still blowing up here and there, but these criminals are more and more isolated every day.

      zyodei is right: a full-scale legalization of all recreative drugs at federal level would stop the flow of illegal money to these armies, overnight. What these armed, poorly-educated, violent men would end up doing, in order to make a buck after we cut their lifeline, we cannot know; a complete amnesty for past crimes is probably part of the equation. The US should probably ask the Mexican government (and the EU) to follow as quickly as possible, legalizing drug trade and pardoning anyone involved in drug-related violence. In an ideal world, gang members would be offered honest jobs as an incentive to abandon the “dark side”.

      Unfortunately, this strategic planning cannot start until a firm decision is made to stop the “war on drugs” madness. It’s the sort of bold, unexpected move a US president could do at the beginning of his second mandate, maybe ? Or something a minor candidate could run on, as part of his platform, to push the debate in the mainstream. Yeah I know, I’m dreaming…

      1. zyodei is right: a full-scale legalization of all recreative drugs at federal level would stop the flow of illegal money to these armies, overnight.

        I’m curious where the drugs to supply the demand would come from?

        1. If drugs were to become legal they could be traded on the lines of any other commodity…when people have legal recourse to bad business deals they no longer have to resort to the gun.

          Like others have said…you don’t see tommy gun fights in the streets by the mafia over alcohol anymore, it could be argued that the underground market is still there, it just stopped being profitable.

          1. So “we” would suddenly start dealing with a bunch of death squad run drug dealers who could now work in the open legally. And if we refused to do business with those with crime backgrounds to encourage “legit” dealers, the death squad gang would kill anyone who tried to get in on it legitimately.

          2. What are you talking about?

            If the US and Mexico legalized Cocaine, then Cartel Inc. would open up, make, sell, and ship the stuff out. Not needing to launder the money alone would make it worth their while. Why would we NOT deal with Cartel Inc? What reason would they have to kill any legit competition?

            As Holtt said, this is why we don’t have Tommy gun drive bys after the end of Prohibition.

            Find me another legal commodity which has violent black market even near the level of the drug trade.

          3. If Pot were totally legalized, I think about 1/2 the people in California would probably start growing it.

            You’re implying that these psycho drug gangs would come in holocaust style and start murdering millions of Californians.

            What HAVE you been smoking?

          4. No I am not implying “these psycho drug gangs would come in holocaust style and start murdering millions of Californians.”

            I’m implying that we would have to then start dealing financially with the psycho drug gangs because they would be the only ones who would be selling the product.

            And anyone in Central/South America who tried to get in on it legally would be cut out by said “psycho drug gangs”

          5. (because at first) they would be the only one selling the product (who was highly organized and ready to deliver on the demand)…

          6. Why didn’t this scenario work for the Mafia? Once booze was legal, they lost their cash cow and had to move to other areas.

            Are you talking about the high lever makers/distributors in South America, or the mid and low level dealers here?

            The ‘psycho drug gangs’, neither the makers or dealers, couldn’t stop everyone – and why would they try? They already have the ways and means of producing product – just do that. Never mind the fact that a lot of it would be home grown – especially marijuana – which no one would do anything about.

            The only problem I see with the scenario is an accidental famine when no one in the Midwest plants wheat or corn – lol.

          7. Why didn’t this scenario work for the Mafia?

            Because there was a very big and (up until Prohibition) legitimate business already in place for supplying the demand. There is no legitimate and “clean” business in place to supply the demand for drugs.

            How you deal with supply for hard drugs? If you suddenly legalize heroin for example, where does it come from? Where does the coca farming happen? Yes, it would eventually arrise in the US, but in the mean time, we’d be buying from the exact same guys who terrorized these kids.

            And how many other countries are going to have to legalize it in order to make it work? A lot probably – a lot of countries who’d gladly gouge us and hold us hostage to our addictions. It’s my belief that you’d end up with the equivalent of OPEC but for drugs.

          8. There was indeed a business to supply drugs prior to their prohibition, it just was not big business: because the p[rofit margins only arise in the presence of prohibiition, or excessive taxation and regulation – right-wingers “get” the argument when it comes to the State regulating other forms of enterprise, e why the breakdown of logic when dealing with drugs?

            4easy money from the gangsters has bought off the anti0-drug politicians – they’re only in it for your money – and that goes for the cops, who also make out like bandits for doing nothing but harm to the citizenry, thanks to the “war on drug-using people”.

            or are cops welcome in the ghettos and projects now?

            The prohibition of drugs brings the law into dis-repute, and THAT is destroying America.

            And what do the police say? “Untie our hands, let us kill them all, to hell with human rights and the rules of justice when dealing with these drug-using ANIMALS”…

            I suspect these recent massacres are a poltical psy y-ops campaign to de-rail the increasing, and increasingly c vocal, cries for legalization being heard throughout Latin America, and the American lower classes:


            But both the killer thugs and the killer cops don’t want their gravy train de-railed, so they up the massacres. To help the public make up its mind.

            Legalize now, top to bottom, and drive out the easy money boys.

            But I guess peace in the Middle east wouldn’t bring the price of oil down either, so the wars go on, eh?

            Commodities can only maintain selling prices giving multi-thousand per cant profits over the costs of production by the use of armed force.

            D’ya think this all is connected to why a dolllar does not hold its value over the years? Why shouldn’t it be connected?

          9. re: “There is no legitimate and “clean” business in place to supply the demand for drugs.”

            There would be, literally, over night. For drugs that are harvested mainly in South America or Afghanistan – those countries too would have to not care about the export of drugs. Otherwise, violence might continue there. But there would be less violence here.

            re: “But I live in the hood in San Francisco and am surrounded by people who’s lives are completely torn apart by drugs.”

            Absolutely. Drugs are bad, Mkay? Alcohol addiction has destroyed countless lives. Just as smoking and fatty foods have brought people to early death. (A cool and delicious death, but a death none-the-less.)

            Drugs are illegal now – right? But your neighbors don’t seem to have any problems getting the drugs, do they? This was just like prohibition – it’s a fucking joke. I haven’t seen an illicit drug in over 10 years, but I am confident if you gave me an hour, a square like me could score something.

            Drug abuse is a symptom of other social ills – poverty, abuse, etc. Locking people up over it has done NOTHING to solve those ills. If we ‘sin tax’ them the money could go to education, rehab, and community improvement projects. I’d rather see the War on Drugs money spent on play grounds and technical schools.

            @ugly cunnuck
            re:” The war against alcohol produced gangs, violent gangs, and the existence of those gangs brouyght about the first efforts to control guns in the USA:”

            Absolutely. It’s the reason I have to pay $200 more for the really cool toys.

          10. “Drug abuse is a symptom of other social ills – poverty, abuse, etc. Locking people up over it has done NOTHING to solve those ills.”

            I think its kept drugs relatively rare. Here in San Francisco pot use certainly increased after it was decriminalized. Mind you, I’m fine with that. But I’m not fine with the same increase happening with meth or crack.

          11. I’m implying that we would have to then start dealing financially with the psycho drug gangs because they would be the only ones who would be selling the product.

            But you’re describing the situation NOW, under prohibition.

            Unless they just store their money under matresses or use the billions to collect Manga, we are now financially dealing with the psycho drug gangs.

            They are NOW, under prohibition, the only ones selling the product.

            Please remember that the reason most of Central and South America have maintained ruinous prohibitious policies (laws that GIVE A MONOPOLY TO DRUG CARTELS), is because the US has spent decades bullying them, leaning on them, and compelling them not to change these laws.

            Can you explain why a violent chewing gum monopoly doesn’t spring up and use terror and violence to crush chewing gum producers who sell for less than $25 a stick?

            Can you explain why the ONLY areas where we see these violent cartels operating are in sectors of the economy that are illegal and thus pushed underground?

            How, please, would legalization be worse in any way?

  7. I frankly don’t understand why people in the US continue debating if drug prohibition and the war on drugs contributes or not to the violence we Mexicans have to endure.

    Yes, we have problems of our own due to corruption and the rule of law, but we have been a corrupt lot for a long time (sigh) and nevertheless we didn’t start killing each other until the economic incentive offered by prohibition in the US arose.

    The problem was moved from Colombia btw, which was at the heart of the production, by means of one of the most brutal civil wars in recent history financied by billions and billions of US taxpayers money. The drug dealers in Mexico figured out that they have a competitive advantage the size of the US-Mexico border adn the puritanical zeal of the US politicians (I read once that some mafia boses during prohibition years actually financed pro-prohibition politicians because they understood very well that the status quo suited their business, have not been able to find corrobotation tough…).

    And it is not like you lot don’t know about this kind of problem. You are simply chosing to ignore the lessons of history, often in your misguided adherence to puritanic beliefs that have no place in a modern, open and democratic society. I found this article for example:“mafia+paid+politicians+during+pro-prohibition”

    A few selected quotes:

    ““The Torrio-Capone gang of Chicago emerged as a new prototype of the new criminal organization specializing in the business opportunities created by the Volstead Act””

    “The business practices of these gangs mushroomed with the increased, not decreased demand for alcohol. Bootlegging enforced by semi-automatic machine guns became the norm.”

    “Competition was loathed and those that ran afoul of the business affairs of the Torrio-Capone gang faced deadly consequences.”

    And what about all your US presidents in recent years, some of whom smoke but don’t inhale (like if that mattered to the drug dealer that made the sale):

    ““Local police sometimes winked at illegal liquor operations because they knew the people involved
    or were secret drinkers themselves” (Hallwas 177-78) and looked the other way when elected
    officials were threatened to make them cooperate.”

    I don’t care if people take drugs, that is your own damned business, but at least have the integrity to demand from your politicians to stop this demented “war on drugs” that is taking us nowhere fast…

    Anyway, I leave you with the final quote on that article:

    “It is unfortunate that the legislators of the current war on drugs can not see the
    lessons of prohibition. Even though the law made Americans feel moral, they had no intention of
    obeying it. It only created untaxable black markets and bloated budgets to fight increased crime, all because the demand—for alcohol, just as it still is for drugs—was and still is there.”

  8. I can’t imagine what their parents must feel everyday, probably struggling with the idea of leaving their country for the sake of their children.

  9. My girlfriend wrote this poem:
    I went to the rock to hide my face.
    The rock cried out, “No hiding place.”

  10. Tau’ma, your girlfriend did not write that. The Gospel song “There’s No Hiding Place Down Here” is a traditional Negro spiritual, originally collected in 1907 and first printed in 1915, and popularized in a 1934 recording by The Original Carter Family.

  11. Some of these quotes are quoted incorrectly. “Semi-automatic machine guns” do not exist. What would be the point?

    1. Semi-automatic machine guns” do not exist. What would be the point?

      Author probably did some brief internet research into tommy guns, saw currently-legal ones listed as semi-automatic, and didn’t think about it much more than that.

      Come to think of it, were fully-automatic Thompsons harder to come by than ones with a semi-auto firing mechanism during prohibition, or were there no restrictions on such back then?

    2. Unless you are talking about the selective fire switch most assault rifles have. You can go from single shot semi-auto to burst to full auto on many makes.

  12. What? legalize drugs – and lose all that money funnelling into my political campaigns?!!!

    1. “I’m going to punch the next person I see doing cocaine.”

      Here’s a better idea, why don’t you punch the next police officer you see who enforces the War on Drugs. I’m sure it’ll go well for you, and your point will be made!

      1. “Here’s a better idea, why don’t you punch the next police officer you see who enforces the War on Drugs. I’m sure it’ll go well for you, and your point will be made!”

        OK, I guess emotional and ridiculous hyperbole deserves the same. Still, merc-driving tools who do rails in the toilets of Ruby Skye could use a little social shaming. Not to mention a few of the “enlightened” people I’ve met who can see the social and environmental impact of all their habits (and those of everyone else), -except- for their own drug habits. Until it’s all decriminalized, it would serve us (and perhaps those kids in the video) to take a hard look at the demand side. And I’m starting with the people I know. And yes, with a verbal not a physical punch.

  13. Great teacher.

    A lot of teachers are like that. They never get medals for gallantry under fire, but there’s a long history of teachers keeping a cool head and doing whatever it takes to keep their students alive.

  14. You don’t have to necessarily “legalize” everything to start cutting into the monster that Ronald Reagan spawned. Simply shifting to less draconian punishments and a more treatment based approach would be enough to start improving the situation too. For Mexicans and for the poor minorities which the racist drug war disproportionately singles out.

  15. Cripes, it hurt to watch that video. My heart goes out to he innocent people trying to live their lives among the violence. I think marijuana should be legalized but I’m not sure it would solve the problem. I think the killing would then continue over coke. If you then legalize coke, they might start to kill over heroin. If heroin was legalized, they might kill over some other commodity. Where would it end?

  16. As a mexican, watching this makes me so ashamed of how deep we’ve let our country go down.

    As a personal opinion, I’ve always thought legalization won’t curb this violence. Corruption is the main cancer eating away our society. If all the cartels and their ’employees’ became legit, will that magically turn them into law-abiding citizens, even if they pay taxes? Will that change a whole generation of young people with no future, zero education, no social/family net to fall back on, a generation that grabs the ‘offer’ of the narcos of having at least ‘a good year’ in their lives? We need education and re-establishing the farming and manufacturing industries, whose collapses have fueled illegal immigration, a booming underground economy, and the use of the vast army of young, unemployable people by organized crime.

    Drug trafficking is a multi-national issue with powerful players across the globe. Letting aside the damning fact of sharing the border with the world’s biggest consumer, there are many factions, well-funded and with political agendas, that won’t allow their routes to dry out easily. And the current mexican government strategy is likely to just end up militarizing the country, with all the human rights issues that entails, with no real results, unless a big, sweeping hit on the huge economic interests involved is struck. Of course that might cause some irritation across the border.

    Right now the teacher has become a media hero. State authorities were swift to present her with a nice diploma and make her parade for the reporters. Flaunting her courage and ‘cool head’ for managing that situation, amid handshakes, smiles. While, in any other country, they should have resigned in shame for not being able to protect those they ‘serve’.

  17. I’m from Monterrey, where this video was made. A big part of the problem is the strategy of the government. The government is violent in the extreme and they constantly break down the criminal gangs into smaller, battle weathered units that become independent and are cut from the drug business revenues. They become kidnappers, racketeers, big time thieves. This is the most stupid way to fight the cartels.

    But what can we do, but favor the presence of the army in the streets, now that the gangs patrol the streets in stolen SUV’s, sticking their R15’s and AK47’s out of the roof?

    We need help from the US: Legalize now!!!

  18. Holtt says:
    > my belief that you’d end up with the equivalent of OPEC but for drugs.

    This is silly. OPEC has a scarce, non-renewable resource, that they control. Drugs can be cultivated anywhere. No-one can have monopoly power over cocaine, if anyone is allowed to grow coca plants.

    1. Drugs can be cultivated anywhere.

      You might want to read up on cultivating Erythroxylum coca. It has very specific requirements, and there aren’t that many places that replicate an Andean climate. Bror and Karen Blixen vividly demonstrated the folly of thinking that you can grow Coffea anywhere, as described in Out of Africa.

      1. I really know nothing about the subject, but couldn’t Coca be grown in the right kind of greenhouse just about anywhere?

        1. No. Some plants require a particular altitude, for example. You might be able to replicate the plants requirements with artificial light, controlled humidity and controlled oxygen/etc. levels, but you’d be building a space lab for horticulture.

          1. Interesting. Considering the price the stuff pulls, it might make sense building space labs to grow it…

            But, on the other hand, the reason the Andean countries have the harsh drug laws they do, and thus the black market and narco gangs, is very much because of US politicos leaning on them for decades.

            It’s off subject, but I was astonished by the hypocrisy of US pols demanding that Bolivian subsistence farmers stop chewing coca leaves, a totally healthy habit they have had for 100s of years.

  19. Anon #20 (and you too, Mister 44):

    The war against alcohol produced gangs, violent gangs, and the existence of those gangs brouyght about the first efforts to control guns in the USA:

    Up until the late 1920’s the United States had no gun control laws. However, in the 1920s prohibition brought on a new black market where crime and the need for guns rose. In order to help the states and cities enforce their gun regulations, Congress passed legislation making it a crime to send handguns in the mail (Bruce 48). This was followed by the National Firearms Act of 1934, which levied an intense federal tax on the production and distribution of gangster weapons, which included machine guns, sawed-off shotguns, and silencers (Bruce 49). In 1938, the Federal Firearms Act was passed. This act prohibited the shipment and selling of firearms through interstate or foreign commerce channels without a license (Bruce 49). Also, gun sellers had to record the name and address of everyone that bought a gun and they could not sell a gun to people who had committed certain crimes (W3). ”

    But the gangsters and their paid-for-with-easy-untaxed-drug-profits “right-wing” politicians have made sure that no such beneficial effect will come about this time fromn the war on drug users, as the NRA has grown in lock-step with the illegal drugs business since about 1970.

  20. I’m not trolling, honestly just curious: when people here say “we need to legalize all drugs now”, does that mean you want to legalize meth and crack? I can certainly picture legalizing pot, and even heroin, but meth and crack??? Do you picture some orderly line of people looking to get their “maintenance doses” of meth? Because I don’t think it would work that way. And if you don’t legalize them, you’ll still have your underground markets and your narcos and nothing will change.

    1. The answer is: Yes, we need to legalize all drugs, including crack and meth.

      Why? Do I support crack and meth use?

      No, of course not. But as you can plainly see, the current problem isn’t working. Prohibition does not make them go away, it only drives them underground and makes them more dangerous. It increases the cost, so addicts must turn to more direct and non-wasteful ways of ingesting (shooting up vs. drinking orally); it gives the market over to organized crime; it makes junkies afraid to seek treatment for fear of being arrested and socially ostracized; it gives drug pushers more of an incentive to hook new users; it allows impure drugs to enter the market and harm people.

      I once met a guy who had been addicted to meth for 20 years. He had a wife, kids, a stable job, and a mortgage he was current on. His secret? He was well off enough, and had a good enough connection, that he would mix it into his Pepsi and drink it instead of the much more damaging snorting or injecting. I’m sure it wasn’t good for his health, but he was a more or less healthy functioning 45 year old male.

      And, of course, millions of housewives used to be addicted to Heroin and Cocaine 100 years ago – except that it wasn’t a major health crisis, because it was dirt cheap and they were only drinking it, so the negative health effects were much less severe.

      The answer to the drug problem, as counter-intuitive as it might be, is to decriminalize/legalize ALL drugs, even (especially) the worst drugs.

      Look at Portugal: among the many positive effects (and no negative effects) they have seen since decriminalization 10 years ago, they saw a significant jump in admissions to rehab and an overall fall in usage of all types of drugs.

      1. I’m not saying you’re wrong, I really don’t know. But I live in the hood in San Francisco and am surrounded by people who’s lives are completely torn apart by drugs. From where I sit advocating that we trade one societal ill (a black market) for another (probable massive increase in drug use) isn’t a very good argument, especially when its so uncertain whether we’d get rid of the black market in the first place.

        And I’d argue that your friend who managed his meth addiction was the exception to the rule. The much more common scenario is entire towns decimated by the drug, and I personally don’t see how free and easy access would improve that situation.

        1. The one thing I would argue with you about is the ‘probable massive increase in use.’

          This has been deeply ingrained in our political dogma, but is it really true?

          I don’t really know, but there is reason to believe otherwise. Portugal’s experience with decriminalization, for instance

          The War on Drugs gives such a taboo to drugs, such an aura of forbidden coolness, that I strongly suspect it motivates many teenagers to try drugs.

          Some teenagers feel so lied to and deceived by D.A.R.E., they make a point of trying every drug I could get my hands on.

          There are other reasons why it might create addiction, as well..incentivizing ‘pushing’ to new users, discouraging treatment, etc.

          How many people do you know who cannot get drugs if they really want? How many people do you know who would take hard drugs, if only they were available? I don’t know many of either.

          Addiction is a complex thing, which strikes to the very heart of the human psyche. The criminalization of it, the harsh condemnation of all drugs and drug users, pushes us further away from a forthright understanding of this issue.

    2. Crack is an interesting case.

      In the 1970s, every rich businessman had the opportunity to snort cocaine casually, without fear, and many did. The crack epidemic arrived in the 80s, and by the mid-90s, you could get ten times the sentence for one-tenth the dose if you were dealing crack (rock) versus cocaine (puree?)

      Seriously, look at the history of the sentencing. Since it clearly isn’t about volume or addiction, there remains only class or race or both.

  21. Do users that fuel the trade feel any personal responsibility for scenes like this?

    For users that don’t like the situation and want to see things changed, invest just as much effort in building a rational legalization campaign as you do in illegally acquiring drugs and you’ll be surprised what a difference you can make as an individual. If you’re not doing that, still illegally using, and continue criticize the WOD, I’m afraid you’re not moving the debate forward and just making the problem worse for people in circumstances like this.

  22. You can legalize the purchase and possession while continuing to harshly prosecute the illegal sale and importation. If the United States allowed its citizens to meet their existing demand through taxed and regulated sales of domestically-produced marijuana through licensed growers and vendors (like municipal liquor stores) while continuing to vigorously and aggressively prosecute the cartels and smugglers, we would take a large source of revenue away from the violent gangs and give it to our farmers and our health care and education systems instead. Yes, the cartels would still make money doing other things (like selling cocaine), but they would make less money and therefore have less power, smaller armies, and fewer guns. Another very helpful benefit would be that marijuana users would no longer need to go hang out with criminals and gangsters in order to obtain the product.

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