American drug use causes problems in Latin America
Published: Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Updated: Friday, September 13, 2013 13:09
Drugs. Some people choose them, some don’t. They provide something that Huntsville is very deficient in: hours upon hours of entertainment. While smoking isn’t great on the body, marijuana usually doesn’t contain the tar common in many legal tobacco products. One of the most important arguments in favor of drug use is that it doesn’t hurt anyone but the person choosing to take it.
What nobody has probably pointed out is that the United States’ insatiable appetite for drugs is the main cause of horrific devastation in a trail of countries from Columbia to Mexico. On Aug. 6, 10 Hondurans were killed in a gun fight fueled by drug violence. Another nine died on Aug. 18 in Mexico of similar circumstances.
With people forced into organized crime at a young age, an increasing number of high-ranking government officials are bribed and entire cities co-opted by drug cartels, the living conditions that our southern neighboring countries deal with are unbearable and abhorrent. According to Jessica Keralis from the Forced Immigration Review, this has led to many people understandingly want to flee Latin America and is a large contributing factor to the immigration dilemma.
We are responsible for this. Chances are no one reading this article has directly shot at innocent Mexican civilians, but if you have ever purchased marijuana without knowing where it comes from you are partly responsible for these massive problems. While it’s tempting to blame the government for not legalizing it, the government holds much less responsibility than casual American drug users. The black market directly thrives on the money you have exchanged for that sweet piece of grass. The only question now is: how can we make it better?
1) Stop using entirely: This is a hard thing to do. Living in Huntsville makes watching grass grow seem like a thrilling alternative. However, it’s very expensive. There are legal, cheaper substances such as alcohol and video games which can entertain you for hours at a time. What I actually would advocate is that people spend less time smoking pot, and more time volunteering, or starting that awesome organization what would make Huntsville a more interesting place to hang out.
2) Know your grower. If you choose to dope up and get your stash from Colorado, Washington or California, it’s probably not supporting the cartels. Even if it is supporting a black market, it’s showing that the stuff from south of the border is undesirable and changing market practices to move things to our own country. Given that the United States has a much more established law enforcement infrastructure, the money will stay and stimulate the national economy while the violence won’t dramatically increase above the border. Last but not least, everyone interviewed on the subject says the American stuff is of a much better quality.
3) Take intro to agriculture. Then invest in the materials to grow your own at home. If you are doing the growing, you are taking full responsibility for the risks and consequences of participating in illegal activity, rather than exporting those risks south. Also, you can make sure it’s organic.
If you are going to do drugs, do so responsibly.