David Rieff
Author, Journalist
02:05

David Rieff Calls For the Legalization of Drugs

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The author says legalizing drugs in the US would greatly help the civil conflict in Mexico.

David Rieff

David Rieff (born 1952, in Boston, Massachusetts) is an American nonfiction writer and policy analyst. His books have focused on issues of immigration, international conflict, and humanitarianism. He has published numerous articles in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Le Monde, El Pais, The New Republic, World Affairs, Harper's, The Atlantic Monthly, Foreign Affairs, The Nation, and other publications.
Transcript

Question: Could legalization help solve the narco war?

Rieff:    It’s essential.  I mean, obviously, this is… It’s the key question.  If you legalized drugs, you would destroy the [razon] of these cartels, whether the social price of doing so in terms of the harm people would do themselves would be greater as the anti-drug legalizers have argued.  And it’s an argument that so far is [dispositive] in terms of public policy.  I don’t know.  I’m a legalizer myself.  I don’t think there’s anymore chance of “winning the ‘war on drugs’” than there was with probation.  But obviously, that’s still not a view that has much traction.  And if we militarize the war against the major Mexican drug cartels, I would’ve thought that made legalization less likely rather more likely because we’ll get involved in… People will have kind of skin in the game of that drug war.  And therefore, you know, will be focused on that.  That’s what I think will happen.  I mean, obviously, what’s… what the Obama… It’s already clear that what the Obama administration plans to do is a kind of plan Colombia for Mexico.  That is in… large infusions of military equipment advisers, money, and… I mean, that’s already on the cords.  We know that’s going to happen.  Two years from now, if it doesn’t work, maybe they’ll reconsider but I doubt it.


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