Legalization is the Solution to Drug-Related Crime

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How many times have you heard the local news lead a story with the phrase "drug-related"? Probably too many times to count. Indeed, it is an expression so thoroughly imbedded in the media lexicon that it qualifies as a kind of unintentional propaganda.

Like all successful propaganda, "drug-related" has become so hackneyed that no one bothers to examine its fundamental truthfulness. And, also like successful propaganda, the phrase is rarely a complete falsehood but at the same time is rarely completely truthful. Drugs are often given central importance as the key motivating factor for crime, artfully shifting attention away from what is really central.

The "drug-related" crime -- with the exception of some domestic crime -- to which
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For many in these groups, their very livelihoods will be at stake.

That money is the problem must be recognized by the polity immediately -- I mean right now. The reason is that the money is getting so big that the global balance of power may be shifting toward the world's criminal elements. This is no hysterical rant, but the sober judgment of a number of very senior European law-enforcement officials.

The estimates of how big the money is getting are truly staggering. Every year in Davos, Switzerland, the world's top financial and economic minds meet for a few days. At one of the recent seminars it was estimated that the global take from illicit activities had reached over $1 trillion annually, the vast majority of which comes from drug dealing.

While that number is mind-boggling -- it is equal to about 85% of the annual budget of the government of the United States of America -- it actually does not show how much the power of the drug cartels has grown. That's because in some regions and countries the financial power of the drug dealers is already greater than that of the "legitimate" interests.

The Mexican example

Mexico is an excellent, and alarming, example. It is not necessary to commission a multimillion-dollar congressional study to figure out who has the power in Mexico. The country's gross domestic product was $280 billion last year, while
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