California’s Slap At Our Drug-Fighting Allies

November 2, 2010 06:26

Leaders of Colombia, Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and other drug-battered nations held a one-day summit in Cartagena, Colombia, to send the message that Prop. 19 will hurt them.

IBD Editorials


The measure on Tuesday’s ballot to legalize marijuana is being billed as a local issue, but its implications extend well beyond our borders.

To Latin American leaders on the front lines, legalization will mean a big legal money stream for cartels starting the day after the measure passes. Cartels are fueled by U.S. drug cash, legalization increases consumption, and the measure has no restrictions on who buys from whom. More consumption reinforces cartels.

In addition, Latin leaders — friendly ones, by the way — see legalization as a betrayal of trust. In 1982, President Reagan laid out a plan to fight illegal drug cartels with a strategy of international cooperation.

“We have put many people and made many sacrifices to fight this scourge,” Juan Manuel Santos, Colombia’s new president, said in Cartagena. “So it is confusing to see that as we lose lives and invest resources in the fight against drug trafficking, consuming countries promote initiatives such as the California referendum to legalize the production, sale and consumption of marijuana.”


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