|Terry Nelson, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition: “It is really no surprise to me that our prohibition policy isn’t helping to achieve any reduction in drug trafficking”|
A newly released report from the U.S. Department of Justice shows that Mexican drug cartels are rapidly gaining ground inside the United States, despite extensive efforts by the government to crack down on trafficking.
In light of the findings, a group of Border Patrol agents, police officers and judges is saying it is time to legalize and regulate drugs in order to defund the cartels that make so much money from the illicit drug market.
“As someone who has fought on the front lines of the failed ‘war on drugs’ for decades it is really no surprise to me that our prohibition policy isn’t helping to achieve any reduction in drug trafficking,” said Terry Nelson, a board member for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) and a retired U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent.
“We should have learned this lesson decades ago with alcohol prohibition, but let’s hope that the data in this new government report helps more members of Congress and Obama administration officials to realize that their ‘drug war’ strategy is an abysmal failure and that it’s time for a new direction,” Nelson said.
The DoJ report, the 2011 National Drug Threat Assessment, says that Mexican criminal organizations have set up shop in more than 1,000 cities in the United States, a sharp rise from the 230 cities reported in the 2009 assessment.
“The threat posed by the trafficking and abuse of illegal drugs will not abate in the near term and may increase,” the report notes.
In a separate, recently leaked memo, U.S. Customs and Border Protection admits that enforcement operations against the drug cartels have no “discernible impact on drug flows.”
“Innocent civilians and hardworking law enforcement officers are dying every day because of our failed policies,” Nelson said. “The fact that we keep ramping up the ‘drug war’ instead of changing course is unconscionable.”