Economist Magazine: Biden Timid on Cannabis; Should be Bolder and Legalize Cocaine as Well!
The Economist Magazine has criticized President Biden for being “timid” in decriminalizing marijuana and should go even further by legalizing cocaine as a means of weakening Colombian drug cartels.
“Legalization would defang the gangs,” The Economist wrote on 19 October 2022.
“Obviously, some would find other revenues but the loss of cocaine profits would help curb their power to recruit, buy top-end weapons and corrupt officials.”
The Economist urged the Biden administration, which moved recently to pardon those convicted of marijuana possession, to fully roll back the “war on drugs” by making it legal to consume cocaine.
The magazine noted that since the Nixon administration launched the “war on drugs,” the volumes of cocaine that have flooded the United States have surged. In 2020 alone, US authorities seized more than 42,000 tons of cocaine at border crossings and ports of entry.
The US has also spent billions of dollars in Colombia, where the armed forces have failed to “suppress production” of the drug. Cocaine, the third-most used illicit drug in the US, is derived from coca plants grown in the foothills and plains of the South American country.
The Economist said that Washington’s strategy of paying the local armed forces to “spray coca plantations with herbicide from the air or to yank up bushes by hand” has failed.
“When coca is eradicated on one hillside, it shifts to another,” according to the magazine.
The Economist wrote that the illicit drug trade has made cartels more wealthy and powerful than local state authorities in Colombia.
As long as cocaine remains illegal in the US, “cocaine gangs will remain powerful.”
Legalization of cocaine would “allow non-criminals to supply a strictly regulated, highly taxed product, just as whisky- and cigarette-makers do,” according to The Economist.
Making cocaine legal would also be “less dangerous,” The Economist claimed, “since legitimate producers would not adulterate it with other white powders and dosage would be clearly labelled” similar to whisky bottles and cigarettes.
The Economist wrote that legalizing cocaine would weaken drug cartels.
“Cocaine-related deaths have risen fivefold in America since 2010, mostly because gangs are cutting it with fentanyl, a cheaper and more lethal drug,” according to The Economist.
Governments can use tax revenue from legalized cocaine to fund research into whether the narcotic is more addictive than other substances such as alcohol or tobacco, the magazine wrote.
New York Post