I’ve never witnessed someone feeling remorse for snorting booger sugar because they took the time to ponder how many lives were spent in the production of that white powder. I’ve seen a shit ton of dudes with crippling anxiety the morning after doing blow but that was most likely caused by whatever the cutting agent in the cocaine was, or the fact that the blow enabled them to stay up drinking for about 10 hours longer than they should have. That’s why these recent findings from VICE are so interesting, it’s the first time I’ve seen this sobering look at the death toll that follows the production of cocaine, mostly caused by the feuding drug cartels of Mexico.
via VICE’s ‘How Unethical Is Buying Cocaine?‘:
According to a PBS report last year based on numbers released by the Mexican government, between the years 2007 and 2014, 164,000 people were murdered in the country—27,000 in 2011 alone. PBS noted that one report linked 55 percent of Mexico’s murders to the cartels, but those estimates were criticized elsewhere, so it remains unclear how many deaths were tied to cocaine.
Other relevant numbers are useful in linking that violence to cocaine in particular. In 2011, the peak year for murder in Mexico, an estimated 546 metric tons of cocaine were smuggled into the US—mostly through Mexico—according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy. In its most recent Drug Threat Assessment report, the US Justice Department noted that “current cocaine users outnumbered heroin users by approximately 5 times in 2013,” the most recent year with such data.
So while the numbers aren’t confirmed, we’re being told that round 85,000 murders in Mexico from 2007 to 2014 were directly related to the drug trade. That’s about 20,000 people LESS than the entire population of Portland, Maine, which is the largest city in Maine. I cannot even fathom losing and entire city, murdered because of the drug trade, but that’s precisely what’s been going down in Mexico. I also think that these numbers are sort of frustrating because the Mexican cartels are dealing in more than just cocaine, they’re bringing in every manner of drugs and not just cocaine. But it is interesting to see the final toll.
I guess this is just further proof that if all drugs were legalized and regulated by the government we’d see a dramatic dip in crime worldwide, and an economic boom from brining the manufacturing, production, and sales in house instead of having drug mules sneaking it all in from Mexico. Don’t believe me that it’s the War on Drugs that’s caused all this death? Here’s what an expert told Metro UK:
Danny Kushlick, from the Transform Drug Policy Foundation, believes it would be better to focus on legalising and regulating the market instead.
‘Clearly it would be better if people didn’t buy into any market that causes harm through the production and supply chain,’ Kushlick told Metro.co.uk.
‘However, it is prohibition that has created the conflict-ridden, violent cocaine market in the first place, and it is a distraction to call on consumers not to purchase from it.
‘More than 100,000 Mexicans, for example, have died fighting over the illicit market created by the global prohibition of cocaine.
‘Only a legally regulated market, perhaps with fair trade production and supply, will enable an ethical market to exist that customers can buy from.’
And while these two things are mostly unrelated (the stats and this drug bust below), I figured now would be a good time to point out that Colombia just set a record for the largest cocaine bust in recorded history, confiscating a truly unfathomable amount of blow.