From the Washington Post:
Legalizing drugs — what Obama and Calderon won’t discuss
By Edward Schumacher-Matos
President Obama calls Mexican President Felipe Calderon Mexico’s Elliott Ness and is receiving him today in an official state visit. Calderon is surely a brave man, and he is right to fight to curb the power of the drug cartels inside Mexico. His predecessor as head of his National Action Party, former presidential candidate Diego Fernandez de Cevallo, has gone missing; the suspicion is that a drug cartel has kidnapped him. The cartels have infiltrated much of the police and government and run many border towns through fear.
But Elliott Ness never stopped illegal liquor. The lifting of Prohibition did. Similarly, the only solution to the drug trafficking and violence on both sides of the border is to legalize drugs.
That, however, won’t be on the agenda in the talk between the two presidents. Rather, the talk will be of improving police intelligence collaboration, of speeding up delivery of promised military aid under Plan Merida, of cutting off the flow of guns and money back into Mexico, of Mexican efforts to clean up corruption and improve its enforcement capabilities. All that is necessary for Mexico’s normal development and immediate crisis, but none of it will put much of a dent in the flow of drugs.
Border towns such as El Paso, Texas, and Nogales, Arizona, are rated as some of the safest places in the country. Most border mayors from Texas to California oppose militarizing the border. The El Paso city council voted for a resolution condemning Arizona’s new anti-immigrant law. Earlier, sensibly, it voted for a resolution in favor of a national legalization of drugs.
Maybe we should move the capital to El Paso.