November 28th, 2012 at 7:00 am
Drug use kills people, tens of thousands of them. Drug abuse obviously kills Americans, but the people I’m referring to here are not Americans, they are our neighbors to the south. When Americans buy and use drugs, they not only hurt themselves, they create deadly chaos in Mexico.
Newspaper tallies, estimates by academics and testimony by U.S. anti-narcotics officials put the death toll somewhere between 45,000 and 60,000 from 2006 to 2011, according to The Washington Post.
Now, outgoing Mexican President Felipe Calderón says ending the drug trade is “impossible.” It’s up to the United States to either reduce its levels of drug use or use “market mechanisms” to reduce the flow of drug money to Mexico, a new Post story reports.
When Calderón took office in 2006, he ordered a crackdown on the drug trade. He now sees it as an impossible task. He has put the responsibility on those of us in the United States. We at least hold a big share of the responsibility.
I have known some good, caring people who smoke marijuana. I don’t think any of them saw themselves as complicit in the deadly violence in Mexico. The reality seems to be otherwise.
There are no easy answers to this problem. Many Americans apparently enjoy using illegal drugs and see little difference between marijuana and alcohol. Many other Americans are addicted to cocaine, meth and other hard drugs. The first group will not want to stop; the second group will not be able to stop without help.
Some see part of the answer as being legalization of marijuana, and Colorado and Washington already have moved to make that happen.
The purpose of this blog post is not to explore the nuances of this issue. The purpose is to connect we Americans with the carnage in Mexico. People are dying because of American drug use.
AMARILLO – Hands in Service Ministries, with help from the Texas Baptist Missions Foundation, recently sent 45 tons of food to help alleviate hunger for impoverished people throughout large portions of Mexico. Full Story »
When I was growing up, I woke up early every day. Even now, I still wake up on my own most days. But every so often, I sleep until my alarm goes off. Those repeated sirens pierce the quiet comfort of my slumber and force me to make a wake up.
In much the same way as my alarm pushes me to decide whether to get out of bed or attempt to continue sleeping, the flow of media stories about drug cartel-related violence serve as alerts in my inbox and on my television screen. One of the most recent articles describes nine bodies hung from an overpass in Nuevo Laredo. Twenty-three total people were found dead. Full Story »
The sport columns are filled today with the news that Josh Hamilton has possibly had a relapse with alcohol. A note of caution should be used that the facts need to be clearly known before it is assumed to be true. Sobriety is a daily challenge and even more challenging when life is lived in the public eye. However, the topic has opened up the door for an honest conversation about addiction and relapse. Full Story »