March 25th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Mexican drug cartels operating in 230 U.S. cities

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The Obama administration says it will send hundreds of federal agents and crime-fighting equipment to the Mexican border in an effort to prevent drug-related violence from spilling over into this country. It's a little late - the Mexican drug cartels are already active in 230 American cities.

A section of the U.S./Mexico border fence crosses previously pristine desert sands between Arizona and California. Homeland Security may respond to escalating violence of warring Mexican drug cartels by deploying military personnel and equipment to the region.

$700 million meant to bolster Mexican law enforcement and crime prevention efforts probably can't come soon enough. The mayor of Phoenix says it's a great first step, but "a drop in the bucket in terms of what's needed." Crimes like drug-related kidnappings and torturing are overwhelming the Phoenix police department. And Texas Governor Rick Perry had asked for a thousand more troops for parts of the border, saying he doesn't care what kind of troops they are as long as they're properly trained.

Meanwhile, the Justice Department has identified 230 U.S. cities where the Mexican cartels "maintain drug distribution networks or supply drugs to distributors," and we're not just talking about cities along the border here; they include places like Anchorage, Alaska, Atlanta, Boston and Billings, Montana.

This mess is the net result of President Bush's failure to secure the borders, among other things. They're still not secure and nothing has happened to diminish the appetite for illegal drugs in this country. Drugs flow north and money and guns flow south into Mexico.

The open border advocates think it's fine that illegal aliens come and go in and out of this country pretty much as they please. I wonder if they think it's also okay that Mexican drugs are poisoning their children here and increasing crime at home.

Here’s my question to you: What should be done about the fact that the Mexican drug cartels are now operating in 230 American cities?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Mark writes:
We learned nothing from prohibition. Imagine for a moment legalizing and regulating the sale of medical grade narcotics. Would the bad outweigh the good? Drugs are the scourge of this nation, but our approach is not sustainable. We need to consider things that can only be described as more drastic.

DP writes:
Give the special interest groups (like La Raza, Southern Poverty Law Center) more ways to explain why the southern border fence is a bad idea and keep telling the stories of illegal immigrants and their hardships while not running stories of how cops are being killed by these thugs! If you tell one side of the story, this is what you get!

Sue from Austin, Texas writes:
Jack, We need to send in regular U.S. military troops to the Mexican border to help the Border Patrol. The troops would need to have arrest power and the power to fire back if fired upon. Why not have a police action on our own border? We have done it so many times elsewhere.

Joe from Virginia writes:
We must secure the border, despite the forthcoming howl from the politically correct gang. We must also work to change the attitude about drug consumption. The cartels would not be here but for America's huge appetite for drugs… I think we should consider legalizing some drugs, get tax revenue from them, and control them like we do alcohol and tobacco. For those people stupid enough to burn out their brains and ruin their lives on drugs, let them at least do it without the crime element.

Frankie writes:
That's too easy: legalize pot. (No I don't mean for me, I'm clean and sober.) But pot should be dealt with exactly like alcohol was, and for the same reasons, as when Prohibition was repealed. You can't legislate morality. You CAN take the market away from illegal dealers.

Filed under: United States
soundoff (303 Responses)
  1. Edward

    Drugs need to be legalized, or better said Prohibition needs to end. This would end most of the violence resulting from the black market in narcotics. Another factor worth considering is that legalizing drugs would reduce the pressure on law enforcement personnel by organized crime, leaving them more energy to deal with serious offenses like crimes against children, terrorism etc.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  2. Betty, San Diego, Ca.

    We obviously do not have control of our borders. Drugs are coming in and money is going out. We have the world's largest number of drug consumers. Get rid of the consumers, by starting drug treatment programs and the drugs will stop coming in and money going out.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  3. Mike

    Legalize drugs. Its the simple solution. Kids don't seem to have a problem getting drugs anyway, or they breathe paint thinner or something asenine like that.

    If we legalize drugs, conflicts between drug suppliers will be settled in courts not with guns or violence. The proceeds will add tax revenue to stressed state budgets. We could move tobacco farmers to the production of hemp. We won't be wasting time fighting a war on drugs. I have news for everyone. We lost that war.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  4. Hubert Bertrand Oberlin La.

    for years LOU;@cnn have been trying to tell us what was going on,No one listen untill it's too late.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  5. Vinnie Vino


    This is the real war on America, not Bush's Iraq war, the first thing that must be done is close the border. Then express to the Mexican Government to inform it's citizens the U.S. is going to start executing any Mexican drug cartel members operating inside the U.S. and the ones from here will be deported to the U.S. to die or they will face milatary consequences.

    Central Islip, N.Y.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  6. Dan, Chantilly VA

    This is what we get for spending the better part of a decade treating the symptoms rather than the disease. We didn't care why people were fleeing Mexico, we just wanted them to stop. Instead of providing help and guidance to Mexico, we built a wall. Spend ten minutes in Mexico and it's not hard to see why so many people turn to drug running. The money's good, the police are impotent, and there are no other jobs anyways. We could have fixed this ten years ago.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  7. Allen, Hartwell GA

    Jack, the Saudi's have a pretty good anti-drug program that seems to make people think twice before smuggling in illegal drugs. Maybe we should adopt their program for drug smugglers. It's automatic death penalty.
    The other program we should adopt is true illegal entry enforcement. Illegal aliens should be jailed and deported as soon as possible, and any family member with them who is dependent on them for support.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  8. JoAnn C in San Diego CA

    Jack, I think it's funny that nothing's been done until the cartels are hitting and terrorizing non border cities and states. No politician has wanted to touch this issue with a ten foot pole because of the political ramifications. California's going bankrupt because we've had to pay for the healthcare, welfare and schooling of undocumented workers. Talk about terrorism, the Federal Government should have been protecting our borders thirty years ago and this mess wouldn't have happened. It's pretty scary when we have dozens of beheaded corpses lying in fields a stones throw from our cities and we're worried about Al Queda? Help us and send some troops our way!

    March 25, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  9. Ralph Nelson

    Shut them down! As big a threat as terrorists. Ralph, Yakima, Wa.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  10. Bob from New Brighton

    It may be time to legalize some of those drugs and eliminate the profits that come from distributing these drugs illegally. Legal clinics could possibly help some of those that have been addicted and want to get off without getting into trouble.
    What we don't need is more killing that would come with a troop drug war.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  11. Tom H.

    Legalize it!

    March 25, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  12. Matt Lord

    Matt from Cedar Springs, GA- We have fought a war against drugs since the 70s, leagleize drugs, make them as safe as possible and tax the hell out of them. It would help the budget deficit and cut down on the crime. When alcohol was illegeal big money was made (Kennedys) people got rich or dead. Why can't we learn from history? Drug screens will keep users out of our schools, law enforcement and all other careers that want to keep users out. I live close to Dothan Al, one of the cartel citys mentioned, we are small town USA. It's time to get real.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  13. bill burch

    I have one word for you, Jack... globalization.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  14. Darrell Wayne - San Francisco

    Jack, What should we do, you ask? legalize drugs!

    March 25, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  15. David in Atlanta

    Jack, it's simple. Legalize all drugs and you won't have this problem.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  16. Lee in MN


    We will never stop the flow of drugs until we stop the drug consumption. It is time to throw the book at the drug peddlers addicts and then put them in jail and throw away the key. Clamp down on drug abuse.

    It time to play hard ball.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  17. Kazeem, houston Texas

    The border should be shut down indefinitely and then start raiding the homes like the immigration is supposed to do, they do it in Europe why can Us do the same, send the criminals back to where ever they came from..

    March 25, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  18. Rick

    It means we should give them a Government bailout because it sounds like they are too big to fail.

    Rick in Toronto

    March 25, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  19. Dicky Neely

    Hi Jack,
    It is time to end the prohibition on drugs. Just as the earlier prohibition of alcohol caused the rise of criminal gangs so has the prohibition of drugs given rise to the cartels and their wealth and power.
    Legalize drugs and make them readily availaible at a low price to those who need them and you would take the income away from the criminals.
    Dicky Neely
    Corpus Christi, Tx.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  20. Mark Garza

    JUST SAY NO! Remember those words?

    March 25, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  21. LInda in Bisbee, Arizona

    IF you want to end the violence, LEGALIZE ALL DRUGS. You will never stop the demand, but you can spend a fraction of the funds to discourage drug use and rehabilitate addicts. The so-called "War on Drugs" is nothing but a way for law enforcement to expand and enrich themselves. Make them ALL legal, and the problem of violence disappears. Did we learn NOTHING from Prohibition?

    March 25, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  22. Steve

    Simple. Legalize it.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  23. Chris Murphy

    We need to crack down more then every stiffer penelties for drug usage. We also need to crack down more on the people bringing them in possible even militarily

    March 25, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  24. mary stewart,arlington texas

    you mean to tell me that the most powerful nation in the world cannot pretect 700 miles of border but we are half way around the world pretecting......what?????we have surely gone mad......we could clean up that border in about a week....lets get on it...NOW

    March 25, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  25. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Hi Jack,

    I've always beleived thanks to my upbringing how you treat people and protect your own people at home can be an example to others on how to treat their own people ...on top of being responsible to begin with!

    March 25, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  26. Patty

    Jack, why can't our government just enforce our immigration laws? It would seem to be an easy thing and would put lots of people to work rounding up the people that don't belong here. I obey our laws, why can't everyone else? Build the fence already.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  27. steve

    Jack this is the real terrorist threat. we have to deal with this every day, the Heck with the al kida terrorist lets roll on the Mexican drug cartel

    March 25, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  28. Ken in NC

    Taking them to court for a smack on the hand ain't gonna get it. If not dealt with they will over run this country. They must be exterminated. They must be treated like a cancer. I hate to say that Jack but they will treat us no differently in our own country and if we want to keep our country we must not pussyfoot around.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  29. Scott

    It's simple Jack, legalize marajuana...

    March 25, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  30. James F.

    Legalize drugs. That's the answer. No more cartels and violence because people could buy their drugs in stores. Also, the drugs would generate huge amounts of tax revenue. Prohibition didn't work in the early 20th century and it is not working in the 21st.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  31. Vince Carson City, Nevada

    Do the same thing we did in 1933. Legalize it and tax it.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  32. John

    Very obvious that drugs need to be legalized.!

    This is beyond a moral issue, this is needed to eliminate most of the gang related violence.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  33. Tony in TX

    When we start catching these drug cartels, we need to take their money and use it to pay down our deficit, rebuild schools, repair our highways and bridges. Also, deport anyone found guilty in association with these drug cartels and make sure they are prosecuted in Mexico!

    March 25, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  34. Buzz in Solvang

    LEGALIZE DRUGS! Yes I know it won't happen but it would break the backs of the cartels within ONE WEEK. No money, no violence, NO CARTELS. but the cartels know we would rather waste billions in fighting a war that has no end and thus make them rich while turning Mexico into a violent state that is spilling over into the U.S. Legalize it and deal with that aspect instead of the wasted of lives and treasure of this country.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  35. Nancy Houtz - Loveland CO

    When drug dealers at any level are arrested, give them life sentences without the possibility of parole. Period. Or if our prisons are too crowded, the death penalty. And I'm actually against capital punishment, but I hate the drug business and what it had done to our children and society. Members of our police forces are often corrupted by it as well.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  36. Anastasia

    when are we going to learn to make drugs legal. Tax them and then use it as a stimulus package. The worst that can happen we all smke weed and take a good nap.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  37. Gary Nickerson

    Legalize drugs. Prices will drop dramatically and no one will be willing to risk death for something that costs pennies rather than $100's. We don't see cartels fighting over the cigarette trade. And, btw, tobacco is probably significantly more addictive than most drugs and, through cancer, likely kills more people. No one is arguing that it should be criminalized.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  38. B. I. Harris

    Legalize drugs.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  39. Lee

    Jack the simplest way to stop most of the violence and help our economy would be to legalize marijuana and grow and tax it here in the U.S.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  40. Ravi J

    I live in Tucson, AZ, and no other city in US except Phoenix is more affected by drug violence than Tucson.
    First, the border is not secure. Second, local police is both overwhelmed and incompetent to handle the situation. You tune in to local eyewitness news, and most of broadcast is about homicides and crimes – mostly stemming from drug trade.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  41. Peter

    Dear Kack,
    Legalize marijuana!!

    March 25, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  42. sally

    thats what gets me the republicans and their cry about gun laws, no one is taking their guns away, but because of those that none of us approve of, ruin it for the rest of us, so regulations are required, sure they will find a way to acquire them anyway, but lets not make it easy for them! the repubs divide us from them so its us against them, us anyone that doesnt see things their way! if they could they probably would find a way to get rid of the rest of us not their guns, they are fools!

    March 25, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  43. Marlon C


    President Obama should include building a wall in his stimulus bill. This in part will do many things at once:

    1. create jobs for construction workers
    2. reduce illegal aliens migrating to the U.S.
    3. Reduce the drug trafficing to the U.S.
    4. Save taxpayers BILLIONS in the long run

    I don't know about anyone else, but I'm sick and tired of paying for illegal aliens to live here. If we're going to spend money, let's do something constructive with it, unlike our former president.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  44. Matt Wasielewski

    Boston, MA

    I think it's time to legalize soft drugs like marijuana. On one hand it would eliminate the need to smuggle it across the Mexican boarder and on the other it would create a taxable product that, for better or for worse, millions of people are using.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  45. Janette from Fond du Lac, WI

    My question is: If we know the cities where these drug cartels are operating, why isn't something being done about them? Why aren't massive arrests being made?

    Janette, Fond du Lac, WI

    March 25, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  46. Beau

    Marijuana. Legalize it. 80% of the drugs imported by these cartels is nothing more than pot. Legalization would immediately cut these black market billionaires off at the knees. Not to mention the economic benefits here at home.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  47. Diane

    I heard 90% of the guns used by the Mexican Drug Cartel are purchased in the US? Do you know if this is true? If so, perhaps we should redirect our attention. (and I live in San Diego)

    March 25, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  48. David

    Legalize drugs and let American growers, with the protection of the State (like any other American corporation), put the cartels out of business.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  49. Ben

    The time has come to legalize marijuana. Marijuana is the leading source of capital for the violent, ruthless drug cartels. California and Massachusetts have already introduced bills to legalize marijuana. Not only would marijuana legalization take the money out of the hands of the drug cartels, but governments would be able to tax the crop to offset their current deficits.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  50. Leith Noweder

    Simple, legalize marijuana, the cartel's main cash crop. Take away their funds.
    It should be legal anyway, it's no where near as harmful as alcohol or cigarettes. Can anyone really give legitimate reasons for keeping it illegal that outweigh the enormous benefit?

    March 25, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  51. Ed

    It's easy. End the failed an immoral drug war. Legalize and regulate marijuana and use the tax revenues from that, the money saved on DEA and imprisoning otherwise-law-biding citizens and use it to provide education, treatment and to reduce the deficit.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  52. Kazeem, houston Texas

    The border should be shut down indefinitely and then start raiding the homes like the immigration is supposed to do, they do it in Europe why can't US do the same, send the criminals back to where ever they came from..

    March 25, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  53. Patrick

    Patrick from Oxford, Ohio. Jack, it seems like the legalization of marijuana is getting a new push. It's not just pot heads and medical advocates who want legalization of pot, those of us who want to take the cash crop from Mexican gangs and create a highly taxable industry are starting to beat the legalization drum. Without the cash from marijuana, Mexican gangs will have trouble operating.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  54. Dominic Togno

    The answer couldn't be easier or more obvious: legalize the drugs and the "crime" element of this would disappear.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  55. Rick

    Stop smoking, snorting and shooting up any drugs. Teach our kids it'll just lead em nowhere but dead.

    What a concept huh Jack... Easy does it!

    Crowley Lake, CA

    March 25, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  56. Larry Thacker Ky.

    Finish the fence Jack! Troops on our side of the border and national ID. It's just time, the war on drugs has been lost and we have the terrorist threat on top of that. Do we have to start gathering up the bodies on our side of the border before we take action? If we don't stop the drug trade the government of Mexico will fall, we are in for it then.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  57. L.M.,Arizona

    Oh come on Jack your old enough and smart enough to know prohibition didn't work. Now you and other news media types want to ignore the fact that we have tried to stop people in the past and now in the present from doing what they are going to do anyway and create an even more violent Capone,mafia,and so on. We need to decriminalize, legalize and regulate all drugs.


    March 25, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  58. Chris

    Secure our borders? It will never happen, Jack.. The Republicans need cheap labor and the Democrats need the votes that illegals provide. Until such time as our elected officials take into consideration the citizens of the United States vice their own personal agendas, illegals, drugs and terrorists will pour across our borders at an ever increasing rate.

    For God Sakes our Congress wants to curtail our 2nd Amendment rights because of violence in Mexico! Maybe they smell a revolution coming and want to prempt it by disarming us....

    March 25, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  59. Bill

    Jack – Maybe the US Military could use cities to practice with those Preditor drones here at home. Even better, how about in Mexico?

    March 25, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  60. John K, Phoenix

    Jack, you're right...the war on drugs is a complete failure. Did we learn nothing from prohibition? It's time to legalize marijuana and tax it...at least that will keep the money in this country and mellow everyone out.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  61. Jeremy

    Jack – We need to legalize marijuana. We all know the legislation is a joke and is not stopping anything. The cartels would still deal in cocaine and heroin, but there is nowhere near the demand for those drugs in the US as there is for marijuana. Besides, the government could tax the hell out of it and we'd climb out of our national debt at the same time, to say nothing of the money we'd save in the prison system by not locking up people for possession.

    Jeremy, Orlando

    March 25, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  62. Caroline, Los Angeles, CA

    Holy cow, I don't know. I guess the President or Congress needs to meet with the police chiefs from these 230 cities and help them form cartel task forces in each city.

    Now where are we going to get the money for this Bush Admin. mess? Oh yeah, from our young adult kids who have jobs. But wait! Many of our young adults can't get jobs! Well.....pull out the nation's credit cards I guess.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  63. Robert

    Hey Jack,

    Its damn shame, but the way Oboma is doing things, he will more than likely make them a US citizen before to long!

    March 25, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  64. Steve

    Jack, Its easy. Take way the cartels' cash flow by droping the federal ban on marijuana and use that money for border protection, immigration reform and health care. It worked with the mob and booze.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  65. Walt

    Hey Jack! Why are people so surprised about this number? Our government has know about the "Latin Kings" taking over the drug trade for years and have just let them go! Hell, just look at the lackadaisical attitude the current administration has towards getting American troops to help protect Americans in America!!!! Jack, this is just incredible when our own government refuses to help protect it's own people!

    March 25, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  66. joel

    It is not only affecting the U.S but us as well.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  67. Laura Novakovics Ontario

    The answer is so simple, it's ridiculous. Legalize drugs, regulate them and collect taxes on them. Stop selling guns to non-residents. Do checks at the border going both ways. Duh. But, this being America where the ideologues and resentment-filled always get their way, I have no hope we'll do the practical thing. Up is down in the right-wing world.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  68. Francisco

    Why don't we attack the root of the problem and crack down on all the drug addicts here in the U.S. which are not in 230 cities, but all American City's.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  69. Dan

    Jack, ancient Babylon over 3000 years ago had a wall around it 85 feet thick and 250 feet tall. We only need a fraction of that size. Unfortunately the only answer is to completely militarize the southern border and temporarily suspend all immigration from there until we get a handle on it. Obama wants to renew our image abroad, but we will never be respected if we can't control our own border.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  70. Michael

    We (US) should treat drugs just like the INTELLIGENT Europeans do...decriminalize it vs. "fighting" a phony war on drugs. Bottom line, people are going to do what they want...whether it's legal or not. Just how much are we spending, keeping non-violent drug users in prison? What do we do with them when they're released? They can't get jobs, so back to prison & the rest of us pick up the tab...$40K...$50K per year?

    March 25, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  71. Brod Bagert

    This is a no-brainer. Put them out of business; once and for all. Do what we did to put an end to the power and violence of the prohibition thugs. Legalize marijuana.
    New Orleans

    March 25, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  72. Blake S.

    Marijuana is the cash cow of the cartels, not to mention that because it is unregulated, the effects can be much worse. Legalization would take the power out of the cartels hands and help provide safer distribution. We would like to pretend that we are a drug free nation, but with a country that deals out so many perscription drugs with worse side effects, the argument has become hypocritical.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  73. Tyler

    I think that securing the boarder must be the first priority. Once we do that, it will be able to focus on the problems within our own cities. If we do not secure the border first, the problem will just grow

    March 25, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  74. Mark

    These cartels represent a greater danger to our security than Al Qaeda. Declare them to be enemy combatants, round them up and put them in Gitmo. As enemy combatants, the normal process of justice doesn't apply to them and they can be held persona non grata aand my guess is they will sing like canaries. Once we know who and where their bosses are, we can then use Cheney's assassination squads and eliminate them

    March 25, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  75. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    First,bring our troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan and send them to the Mexican border and cities where the gangs are. Second,declare war on Mexico and the drug gangs. Third,Pass a law giving an automatic death penalty to anyone in a drug gang. Fourth.tell Mexico to clean up its own corrupt country and stop blaming the United States for your own problems.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  76. Sam J

    Tax it – we have to legalize this and get this fixed (our budget deficit might get fixed as well). Let's give it a shot!

    March 25, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  77. Andrea

    I totally disagree with you that "The War on Drugs" is a failed project.
    "The War on Drugs" was never designed to PROTECT America, it was designed to destroy and incarcerate America's minority population.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  78. Richard Manganaris

    My fear of AlQaeda and the Taliban is not nearly as intense as what effect the drug cartels may have and have had on our nation. Great empires fall from within. Our appetite for illicit drugs is the weapon and the cartells have an effective delivery device. Who cares about Korea (n)

    March 25, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  79. Martin

    I bet you Jack, lobbyists have their hands in this one, just as they are doing to block Obama's reforms on health care, education and enery.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  80. Ryan

    Put the cartels and dealers out of business. Legalize the drugs, regulate it and tax it (just like tobacco). The same philosophy was used with alcohol and look how that turned out. If Conservatives want the government out of people's lives, this would be a good start.


    March 25, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  81. Don

    People need jobs and we need to close our borders to the illegal activities. Put people to work physically building border protection where applicable. Put our homebound troops on or near the border for basic training and border patrol. This, I think, would alleviate some of the pressure on existing border patrol and let ICE concentrate on rooting out the illegals further inside our borders. I can't believe this problem is being held hostage (along with most US citizens) by a handful of liberal crybabies. Maybe they'll change their tune when their own kids are getting killed and their neighborhoods are overrun with these degenerates.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  82. Cory

    This one is really a no brainer, prohibition it self is the cause of this dilemma with Mexican drug cartels, plain and simple and the fact is so much money is involved that even if you eliminate the Mexicans some else will take their place immediately. This is no different than the growth of organized crime in the 1920’s and 1930’s during alcohol prohibition and much like that time the only way will eliminate this problem is to legalize and regulate drugs.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  83. John in Seattle

    As I've said before, legalize drugs. Few people kill over their addiction to alcohol, and the same is true of any other recreational drug. Stop using phrases like "drug-related crime". The violence has no relation to the drug. Call it "cartel-related" violence. Or "black market-related".

    We have a nasty habit of blaming the wrong thing in this country, and too quick to pick up the pitchforks. You would even be more accurate to say "Congress-related violence". Or "the War on Drugs-related crime".

    March 25, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  84. ray whitson

    Jack... well let's talk about the CIA's role in the Mexican drug interests. It's a well known fact that the CIA is responsible for almost all drug traffic in America... as well as human trafficking.... and as well as terrorist attacks... you're on the right track about the drug war.... kinda like another war on something we've been fighting.... wake up.... dissolve the Fed.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  85. Edward Rothblum

    Jack, I would be willing to bet that if drugs were legal and taxed, there would be 0 cities infected by these cartels. Think about it.....how many mexican cartels are bringing in tequila? Once it's legalized, the viloence behind it all disappears. We need not look further than what prohibition did for gangsters and when it ended, so did Capone. Legalize, tax and open a national drug rehab program for anyone who needs help, free of charge! If you add the cost of this drug war with the tax the government would make trillions over a few years. Farmers would be reignited, how many crops can fetch $500 for 1 once? Don't criticize it....legalize it!

    March 25, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  86. David Poole

    The only thing I can think of to help this problem is marshall law in 230 U.S. cities. God help us.(U.S.)

    March 25, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  87. Neil

    My old economics professor demonstrated to us quite clearly that spending billions on attacking the supply-side will never work. It only pushes up prices, making the industry more profitable for the criminals. Instead attack the demand side: make drugs dirt cheap at our local pharmacy and spend the billions on educating us on the downsides of taking drugs. Advertisers could do a lot with that kind of money.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  88. rod

    Its real simple Jack, LEGALIZE IT !!! Example=(Jeffrey Miron., Harvard) How long are you people gona continue with this insanity!! Just keep throwing more money, lives and fire power at the war on drugs? ...ok good luck with that!

    March 25, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  89. Karen

    You have to be kidding that this govt would do what's obvious... a patrolled double fence, control the the border with national guard, mandate e-verify, add a national ID.

    Chance of Mexico allowing this to happen? Zero.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  90. Matt

    The marijuana trade is an 80 billion dollars/ year business. Legalize marijuana and these drug cartels will need to find legitimate work. It would create thousands of jobs in the US and it could be taxed and be a great source of income for the government. Our prisons are already full of nonviolent drug offenders and the taxpayers are paying for this.

    10 years ago when I was in high school, I remember it being easier to find marijuana than beer.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  91. Jim Blevins

    The answer is obvious, but people let their religion interfere with their reason. Recreational drugs should be treated much like alcohol. Control distribution, tax them but make them legal. Prohibition made it clear that if you outlaw that which many people use, crime is the result. If you make recreational drugs legal at reasonable cost, you have cut off the criminal organizations at the wallet and they cannot exist. Further, the taxes would eliminate our budget problems.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    March 25, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  92. Larry in Austin

    Just legalize drugs already. It's obvious that drug polices aren't working and I haven't heard of any new policies. Just imagine the tax revenue that could be generated and many lives could be saved.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  93. Alvin

    Jack, legalize the drugs and put them in the unemployment lines like many working Americans.Create jobs with processing and selling it. We did it for alcohol and tabacco. why not drugs. We will never win this drug war, its another iraq. Those that choose the low route of using will always use them. Im tired of seeing drug dealers riding expensive cars and living in luxury homes while working from home why i work hard get paid little and struggle to keep the Repo companies from getting my car.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  94. Colby

    Anyone left in America who thinks that the answer to this question is anything other than 'end the prohibition of drugs' is simply confused (or worse). The war on drugs has failed. The war on drugs will always fail, for where there is demand (and there is plenty) someome will find a way to supply, especially when the industry is worth billions. The only choice that a government can make with respect to drugs is who will supply them; who will collect the money and power that comes with the distribution of drugs? Will it be the bad guys, or the good guys? Clearly, we'd all be safer if the government ended its utterly ludacris war on drugs.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  95. Paula in Albuquerque

    Amazing! I live in just up the road in New Mexico, and hadn't heard about any of this until a few weeks ago! Bush/Cheney kept this "well-hid", didn't they?

    I have to laugh every time I hear one of those simpering fools, who claims that they "...kept America 'safe' after September 11..", when this drug war has been raging just across our border, and, the border itself is as accessible to illegal entry as a 24-hr. Walgreen's...

    March 25, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  96. Joe of PA

    Jack, Sweep those suckers straight back into Mexico buy imposing mandatory check points through out problem areas targeting ALL people Black, White, Hispanic and others. Call it Sweep Across America Baby!

    March 25, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  97. Sarah D in Skippack, PA

    That's easy Jack. Legalize drugs. It will eliminate the violence because nobody will be buying from them and generate more revenue to get us out of the hole that we're in. Studies show that the addiction rate is the same in countries where drugs are legal and countries where they aren't. Fire the drug dealers and make them unemployed.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  98. Collin

    We need policy change to attack the money. if the cartels cant make any money they cant buy weapons and will eventually just go away. however marijuana is a good candidate for legalization i seriously doubt anyone would support legalizing heroine, cocane or meth. besides attacking the money we could declare drug cartels and violent street gangs as domestic terrorist which would give law enforcement a fighting chance.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  99. Robert, Louisiana

    Since the negative consequences of marijuana are far less than those of alcohol it should be legalized.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  100. Lisa

    I am a smoker. I find the tax on cigerettes outrageous. They keeping adding taxes to them and pot will be cheaper to buy. If you think there is a drug problem now just wait. Maybe that's what the government want to waste more money at the border.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  101. Laura Nason

    Of course they should be deported and our border secured, but that's never going to happen when our OWN president stated during his campaign that, "We're not going to take 14million people and send them back. That's just not going to happen. They're BREAKING THE LAW, but , THEY'RE NOT VIOLENT."
    Instead of enforcing immigration laws, our own government subverts the laws. We have state governors and mayors and others who are ELECTED to enforce laws, instead, ignoring laws AND forcing those who work FOR THEM to ignore the laws as well, from schools, driver's license offices, social service workers to POLICE and making examples of those, such as Ramos and Campeon, who TRY to uphold those laws. Maybe we need "Sanctuary Cities" where AMERICANS can't be fired and CORPORATIONS can't be allowed to close and move away.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  102. Nolen


    I was at the Appropriations hearing yesterday afternoon on the Hill where testimony was given by the mayor of Phoenix, the director of the Trans-Border Institute at the University of San Diego, and Special Agents in Charge from both the DEA and ATF. Your specific point was brought up in the hearing, wondering whether or not the cartels were actually operating in US cities. Both the director of the Trans-Border Institute and the SAC from the ATF informed the committee that there was no evidence to support claims that Mexican drug cartels were either a) directly operating in the United States or b) had direct links to US gangs. Indeed, it was argued that the cartels would almost certainly be unable to operate with the high levels of sophistication and organization as they do in Mexico, since they rely heavly on the high levels of corruption in both the police and in elected officials, as well as on the poor rule of law in that country – something which is not found in the United States. I do believe that this point is very crucial to understand as we move forward on any discussion of the hugely important issue of cartel violence, especially as it escalates along our border with Mexico, and I think understanding this nuance is the only way we can come to an accurate understand of the violence associated with the cartels in Mexico.

    –Nolen, Washington DC

    March 25, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  103. Dexter Gilbert

    The solution is quite simple Jack. Legalize and control the distribution of all drugs. Tax them accordingly and don't sell them to minors. Use the proceeds from the taxes and the savings from the releived strain on law enforcement to help pay for the treatment of addiction. This will eliminate all crime due the illegal distribution of drugs. Now the social aspect created from illegal distribution will be eliminated, along with all the organized crime related to illegal drugs. Crime in this country and those which supply the contraband will be dramaticaly reduced.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  104. Lee Waugamon

    Everyone says if you want to stop the violence on our southern border we have to reduce demand for marijuana in our contry. I am no expert in this field but I can say with 100% certainty that this will not happen. So, to me, we only have one alternative...legalize and tax marijuana! The violence would stop tomorrow!!! Not only that, the tax money brought in would help both countries budgets more than many people realize. Also, it could be regulated better to help keep it out of the hands of our young people. I truly believe if it wasn't for the tremendous propoganda put out by our own government that legalization would have happened years ago. Everyone has heard the figures on what the government spends to combat marijuana and what it costs to house otherwise law abiding citizens in our jails. My plea is this: Stop making criminals our of ordinary law abiding citizens!!!

    March 25, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  105. Alex

    Legalize, Legalize, Legalize, Legalize!
    Tax, Tax, Tax, Tax!

    March 25, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  106. Pro Kankakee, IL.

    NAFTA has a full stranglehold of America, and we do not even get a say in the matter any more! Why is the government still debating weather or not to guard our borders?

    March 25, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  107. Simon

    I believe that the border needs to shut down. The security threat is far too great to be ignored but i'm afraid that the Obama administration are too scared to offend the special interests group who advocate a open door policy for illegal immigrants. These cartels are the threat to our security, they'll go after anybody, including the Police Officers and the D.A's.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  108. Sean O.

    Jack, the answer is simple: we need to end the senseless prohibition of marijuana in the United States. Demand isn't going anywhere and were marijuana to be legalized our government could make billions in much needed tax revenue as well as cutting off the vast majority of these drug cartels profits. The war on drugs is an expensive abject failure and it's high time (pun intended) that we have a rational discussion about marijuana policy in this country.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  109. Jeff Scott

    Jack, Over a decade ago Walter Cronkite admitted that we had lost the war on drugs, and forsaw no way to ever win it. He made an empassioned plea to rethink our approach. Now is the time. We are at fault for our consumption. Decriminalize, regulate, tax that which is available in our middle schools already. When was the last time you saw an alcohol dealer on a school campus?

    March 25, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  110. Billy from Philly

    All illegal aliens and their anchor children for last 40 years need to be rounded up and returned to their home countries especially Mexico, so they can fight and die for their own freedom and release their own from their own oppressive governments instead of coming to America and getting us to do it and pay for it as well and taking jobs that Americans need. America in turn needs to shut down the border completely and employ its own people and give them a reasonable expectation of the American dream to prevent them from feeling the need to hide in an illegal drug stupor.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  111. Cheryl

    Maybe we should focus on protecting our own country, first, and then offer our help to others. The US is being polluted with drugs and violence because we don't have enough protection at our boarders.
    -Cheryl / NY

    March 25, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  112. Scott Ross

    Jack, it's simple. You said it yourself, the war against drugs, which is really a war against drug users, is a definite failure. The American appetite for drugs will never lessen. It's time to stop the madness!!!
    Legalizing, or at least decriminalizing marijuana and/or other drugs would save us BILLIONS of taxpayer dollars, free up our overloaded prison system, and eliminate the reason for any illegal drug caretels to exist. If we spent a fraction of the money that we currently spend on enforcemant on education and treatment for addicts instead, we would actually reduce the rate of drug usage in the USA. Look no farther than Amsterdam or Vancouver B.C. for proof.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  113. DICK

    Give illegals a 30 day grace period to leave America.
    Those caught here afterwards-confiscate all possessions then deport and make them waith 10 years befor they can apply for citizenship. Those that have children under legal age must go with their parents unless they can prove a legal citizen will provide 100% for them. militarize the border and use legal american citizens and suppliers to build a high tech death fence along theborder. This will be a big boost to workers and our economy.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  114. Tom Tipton

    Short term, use the Patriot Act to monitor illegal aliens communications and interdict drugs as they cross the border.
    Long term, more jobs using e-verify for Americans to increase pride in work and increased self esteem to take away the need for escapist feel-good drugs. Thank you.
    Tom Tipton
    Glide, Oregon

    March 25, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  115. bleach

    Make Druds legal with a good tax on them.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  116. Pro Kankakee, IL.

    The WAR on drugs is over we lost!

    March 25, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  117. deemarie of Sweet Home, Oregon

    Open up METHADONE clinics in every city with a population of 10,000.
    Make Methadone etc. available via prescription thru all primary physicians. Fund MORE rehab research.

    Stop the DEMAND! Take the TIME to bring your kids up straight.
    Ask yourself, WHY DO THEY FEEL THEY NEED DRUGS? Is it something YOU are or are not doing?

    Legalize POT. Lets get real!

    March 25, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  118. Prakash Bhatt


    How about making it legal, That way helps our economy and border
    confrontation problem will be solved too.

    (Guttenberg, NJ)

    March 25, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  119. Conor, Long Island, NY

    The UN Office on Drugs and Crime has stopped talking about a drug-free world. The U.S. alone spends an estimated $40 billion every year attempting, and failing, to eliminate the supply of drugs. Legalization is the lesser of many evils to tackle the drug problem. It would not only drive away the violence and cartels, but it would also transform drugs from a law-and-order problem into a public-health problem (like alcohol), which is how they ought to be treated. Our Government would tax and regulate the drug trade, and use the funds to create awareness and educate society about the risks of drug-taking and to treat addiction. Again, like alcohol, the sale of drugs to minors should remain banned. Stop wasting money and find a real solution; legalization.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  120. Wanda Robinson

    Enforce the laws; use the means that are necessary to protect the citizens of this country.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  121. Steve, Clifton,VA

    It seems that we should do the same thing with the Mexican cartel that we did with the cartels of Panama, Afghanistan, Turkey, Columbia...These cartels have been operating in these cities for years. The difference is now the Mexican cartels are squeezing in on the turf that others have traditionally held as theirs. The origin of the illegal cartels shouldn't matter. The issue is we are spending tons of money on the War on Drugs and the demand in the US is winning that war.....The answer? Perhaps we should Legalize it, regulate it, manage it, tax it ,and draw revenue from it........

    C, VA

    March 25, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  122. john ..... marlton nj

    I quess people are tired of the "war on terrorism" so we are going back to the "war on drugs" .... Maybe we should legalize drugs. The timing might be right ... remember we legalized booze half way through the depression (repeal prohibition) .

    Second point; how is it that we know all about the Mexican (or any other nationality, chinese, russian, itailian, etc ) cartel distribution network (230 cities) yet we never seem to do anything about it. Maybe it is time to legalize it drugs and we can assign distribution rights to the New Jersey Pharmacutical cartel whom, if history is any indication, will completely eliminate any competition ... I am sure there are som eblack watch (circa Iraq) looking for work

    March 25, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  123. J in Denver

    Well I say we end their supply and demand chain. Now how do we do that? Everyone would have to stop buying illegal drugs(yeah right, cold day in hell). Then secure the border (US working on it for 100 years +) Now I'm not saying we should legalize all drugs, but maybe a second look. For one a main ingredient in Beer (Hops) happens to be a cousin of cannabis. While one cousin is legal (causing domestic violence and other crimes) and the other is illegal(it just makes you happy, laugh, and hungry sometimes forgetful) So if some are legalized, controlled and regulated the US could take the money away for cartels and use it for ourselves.... End the drug war, support your local US citizen..... Grower!

    March 25, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  124. Michael

    Hello? There is a very simple solution: LEGALIZE all drugs!
    Sounds drastic? Think about it: drug prices would plummet to cough syrup levels, this will annihilate the cartels: no money, no power.

    What would be left to do after that is to have massive campaigns (funded by the revenue from now-legal drugs) to convince people that drugs are bad (hey, it worked for cigarette smoking, didn't it?).

    Let us all parents, teachers, clerics and religious figure alike talk down the drugs and promote the "high on life" philosophy. But nobody will ever have the guts to do this, will they?

    March 25, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  125. StephenB

    Eighty years ago, it was alcohol that was illegal and the money from the underground sale financed those mobs. What did we do? We got rid of the unenforceable law and made abuse a health issue. That needs to be done with drugs. Getting rid of the profit would cripple violence from Mexico to Afghanistan. The short term healthcare hit would be worth it, and Nobel economist Milton Friedman agreed along with Bill Buckley – both conservatives.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  126. ejmounsey Granville Ohio

    Remind all the users that people are dying because of their behavior.

    EJM Granville Ohio

    March 25, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  127. Dawn

    Why dont we just legalize drugs.They wouldnt want to haul it cross the border for free,would cut down on the violence,save us around $24,000 a person that is in prison on non violent crimes.Would save us all that money that we are getting ready to spend over there with the border and would save a lot of these people from getting killed over there.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  128. Jordan

    Jack we should first look inwards when analyzing this problem. The reason the cartels are successful is because Americans are purchasing illegal drugs. Not only the drug cartels should be targeted the users should be as well. Stop the demand and there will be no need for the supply and the cartels will no longer be profitable.

    New York

    March 25, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  129. Paul Seemayer

    The National Guard should only be utilized for true National or Regional Emergencies. With that said, the U.S. Government should commit financhial resources to our Boarder Patrol. Properly trained and armed Border Patrol Guards with equipment and funds suitable for the threat should be allocated. Illegeal Aliens have no place in our society. If they wish to become U.S. Citizens they should follow the proper procedures that other immigrants follow. Granted, many illegeal aliens from Mexico may contribute to the American way of life, but many more are here to take advantage of free health care, government giveaways, and they wind up breaking laws, killing americans and trafficing drugs. It is my belief that we should be investing whatever it takes to secure our boarders.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  130. Craig W.

    It's high time we stop thnking the Mexican goverment is or can do something about the drug cartel. If we truly want to stop this situation, its time to get our military involved in the situation. Isn't that what we have a military for anyway? To protect this country from foreign invasion? Well, I've got news for you, that's exactly what's happening. So take the kid gloves off and let's get this situation under control and let these thugs know that it's not going to be tolerated any longer.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  131. Andrew

    Yes the drug war is and always has failed and that's why Marijuana should be de criminalized, legalized, and regulated by the government. This situation isn't any different than the prohibition of alchohol. Drug money contributes nothing to society but violence and many other things not to count the fact it contributes nothing to the economy. However, if it were legalized than it would create jobs in the USA and drug cartels would have no business becuase americans would purchase their medications from despenseries rather than on the streets which fuels criminal activity. JMO Thanks.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  132. Anwar

    Jack, we will continue to lose the drug war until the citizens of this country change their habit of consuming the poisons. With a fraction of the world population, we are the largest consumer of the drugs! What does that tell you?

    March 25, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  133. H. P.

    Ill tell you one thing we can do Jack, legalize soft drugs. aside from the obvious economic benefits this would take all the power away from the drug cartels that bring so much violence to our streets. Prohibitions of any kind will ALWAYS cause more harm from the black markets they produce. Its a waste of tax payer dollars fighting these guys when we could be flipping the buck ourselves.

    There's a reason why Alcohol prohibition only lasted several years.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  134. carla brown

    legalize all the drugs, tax them, ;and use the money for rehab programs. It's only getting worse, our prisons are full , and ;they want to build more.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  135. Theron - Lawrence, KS

    First and foremost, marijauna should be legalized. This would end 72 years of injustice and hypocrisy, especially considering that alcohol and tobacco are by far more deadly and dangerous. This would cut the cartels' business by more than half. Revenue generated from taxes on legal marijuana sales could then be used to fight these cartels tooth and nail, and stem the flow REAL menaces to public health and safety such as coccaine, heroin, and methamphetamines.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  136. Tom in Tampa, Florida

    What should be done? Eliminate the profitability of the black market commodities that are the source of their power and the rocket fuel for the violence.

    End the Drug War and the violence that is a DIRECT RESULT of this failed war will evaporate.

    Legalize drugs, tax them, generate revenue instead of frittering revenue away on a lost cause that only creates more problems as evidenced by the cartel violence that is a direct result of the power and money that we have acquiesced to them.

    Replace the current drug ANARCHY that is a product of the war on drugs with a system of drug CONTROL.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  137. Oregon Wally Las Vegas Nevada

    I think marijuana should be legalized , taxed, BUT then there's cocaine, heroin and meth . these drugs are evil and destroy lives. it 's like your damned if you do and damned if you don't thing . i've always been amazed with Amsterdam, Holland, this stuff is legal and there crime waves aren't even close to ours, maybe we should take it as a lesson we should have taken long, long ago..

    March 25, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  138. Austin H., Valdosta, GA

    Alcohol prohibition failed, and the current prohibition of these illicit drugs has also failed. Legalization, with responsible state regulation, is the key to ripping the money straight out from underneath these cartels, and thus crippling them.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  139. Greg Flanagan

    Simple answer:
    LEGALIZE marijuana taxstamp it at the point of sale and divert tax into

    deficit reduction. Then use the trillions this will raise and educate ALL

    peopple and invest in rehab facility construction. Americans are going to smoke pot regardless. When will anybody open their minds and
    see. Maybe they have too much to lose politically.

    Thank you

    Greg (please no last name)

    March 25, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  140. Art Crawford

    Jack, the only way to end the trafficking at this point is to decriminalize all drug use. Make it a medical issue for those already addicted and available through Doctors or expand the 'medical marijuana stores'.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  141. Sam

    This an example of what happens with an open door – like immigration policy. The flow of illegal immigration needs to stop otherwise Americans are simply condoning the efforts of illicit activity such as narcotics trafficking. In addition to this, the Mexican government really should become more organized and respond to these criminal activites which stem from their own country. The Obama Adminstration should put pressure on the Mexican government to better equip itself against them.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  142. ken m.

    well jack the first thing i would is round thenm up send them and there familys back to mexico, yes there familys all of them let nancy cry about that for a while, then i will legalize pot . and have it taxed ,there are places in califorina . they get more taxes from the sale of medical pot ,then state gas taxes. make it where it 's legal to have a certian amount sold from stores that regulate the tax being paid on it, this would give obama more money than he ever could use, then i would release all persons in jails for pot related charges except for king pins and sellers just the users. that would relive about 45 % of our jails to put the hispanics selling drugs to hold them before sending them back . ken

    March 25, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  143. Lee in Princeton,IL

    Everyone says if you want to stop the violence on our southern border we have to reduce demand for marijuana in our contry. I am no expert in this field but I can say with 100% certainty that this will not happen. So, to me, we only have one alternative…legalize and tax marijuana! The violence would stop tomorrow!!! Not only that, the tax money brought in would help both countries budgets more than many people realize. Also, it could be regulated better to help keep it out of the hands of our young people. I truly believe if it wasn’t for the tremendous propoganda put out by our own government that legalization would have happened years ago. Everyone has heard the figures on what the government spends to combat marijuana and what it costs to house otherwise law abiding citizens in our jails. My plea is this: Stop making criminals our of ordinary law abiding citizens!!!

    March 25, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  144. Scott in Portland, OR

    A major step would be to legalize and tax marijuana. Tens of millions of Americans use it, and Mexicans are milking it. We need to stop being simplistic in our perspective of the War on Drugs, and get serious about our country's real drug problems: cocaine, heroin, and meth.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:19 pm |

    Hi Jack. Reading these messages, the common thought seems to be legalize the drugs. I agree. It's another great source of tax revenue for our government. Enforce the same rules... no drinking and driving... no getting high and driving.

    This is terrorism... this is the real war on terrorism George W and his cronies should have been fighting instead of in a piss pot halfway around the world. We are paying for years of open border lobbying with no thought about the welfare of our own citizens. Move troops, tanks, guns, and bombs to the border. Maybe the Mexican drug cartels will think twice.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  146. Larry in Austin

    If the government knows that Mexican cartels are operating in 230 cities, why don't they arrest the cartel's members? How can you have knowledge and do nothing with it? Craziness.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  147. Michael H. Oil City, PA

    Come on Jack, "mind-numbing"? There are gangs in the big cities, orginized crime too. Mexico is a turf war over routes into the USA. Border towns are not complaining too much about high crime rates, Gov. Perry is posturing, unwisely at that. Rules of engagement, chasing thugs into a soverign nation, etc. What is needed is being implemented now. I agree that the war of drugs is a joke. 60% of what is being moved across is a plain old weed. If we thought about legalizing this plant, think of the revenue. Next we'll have troops on tobacco farmers land?

    March 25, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  148. M. Blanchard

    Legalize drugs – Then the govenment could control it, Tax it, and eliminate the national debt in less than a week. This would remove the criminal element and it's control of same. Legalization would save thousands of lives and probably do more to help those addicted to overcome the habbit. This would remove the novelty of thinking one is getting away with something. Drug abuse will never go away like prostitution. Lets make it legal, clean it up and save lives.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  149. Kevin McDermott

    Just legalize drugs !!!!! Take the proffit out of them and thay will go away. Yes, I the first 2 or 3 years some will die. But the "war on drugs" dosn't work any way .The people that want them get them anyway thay just rip us off to get the money. And the money drug consumers don't get the goverment dose with taxes for DEA,FBI, ect.. Stop the cycal

    March 25, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  150. GG

    Legalize drugs. The real question is "why is marijuana illegal"? Health? Tobacco and booze kill 450,000 people in this country between the two of them, and they are still legal. Hemp can help solve a lot of problems we have right now – it can be used to make hundreds of products, from paper, rope and fabric, to food and oil. Hey – maybe that's why it's illegal – it's competition... it always comes down to money.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  151. alveta, Maryland

    LEGALIZE MARIJUANA! Or we will continue on beings terrorized in our own Country by these thugs.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  152. Mario Solis

    we cant declare war on mexico we need to help the government fight the cartels...also we need to understand this cartels are getting bigger and bigger and shootings are breaking even infront of elementarys schools killing children this people just dont care anymore...President Obama needs to send a strong message that we are going to end this war of drugs we dont need that in our country.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  153. Abbie Herrick

    I think someone should steal a lot of money from those cartel people and blame it all on the open borders people and we wouldn't have to worry about people advocating open borders. Ps, The drug problem would go away if we legalized them and put them under strict control. Ending Prohibition put all the bootleggers and rumrunners out of business and (almost) nobody these days would ever buy homemade liquor.

    Manchester, NH

    March 25, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  154. Robert Borden

    Here's a novel concept: legalize drugs! It's obvious that the war on drugs has been an immense failure. Criminalizing drugs does not prevent those who want them from getting them; the same way legalizing drugs does not create any increased demand. Just because cigarettes are legal does not impel me to kill myself by smoking them!

    A Princeton economist recommended this approach just a few days ago, and maybe this is the beginning of a common sense revolution. Knowing how entrenched attitudes in society can be, I won't hold my breath.

    St.John's, Canada

    March 25, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  155. Larry R

    The United States of America is 100% responsible for the Mexican drug war!

    Why? Demand is the driving force of all the cartels, their sole purpose is to get drugs into the USA and in return make billions of US dollars. If there were zero demand the cartels would dry up and go away, simple fact you can produce all the cars, toasters, or whatever but if there is no demand for that product that business will go out of business as would the illegal drug business.

    The reason these cartels are so fierce and ruthless in their efforts to get these drugs into our country are simply high profits. Regardless of how hard we try to fight the supply side of this illegal business it will continue, look at the past, we have been at war on drugs for decades and the problem continues to grow. We confisticate tons of drugs yet tons more make it into our country, the flow never ends.

    If the demand is eliminated the war will be over, therefore we need to apply more effort to eliminate the demand. If every user of these illegal drugs stopped using these illegal drugs the drug war would be over.

    Not an easy task for sure, because we treat the user as having a sickness not as breaking the law our law enforcement efforts are almost entirely focused on catching and prosecuting the sellers and traffickers of drugs, for proof of this just look at who we are housing in our prisons.

    Treatment and education is good but not enough, we see folks going through treatment and various education programs only to fall back on drug use over and over.

    More stringent penalties for usage is needed like fines, (if you can afford drugs you can afford the fine) community service, jail time as well as more testing for employee usage, usage is not big among the unemployed they can’t afford drug so it must be the employed that are buying these drugs.

    Larry R
    San Diego Calif

    March 25, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  156. Mike Boom

    Jack- no one has brought up why we allow vechicles to cruise out of the US right into mexico, with no checkpoints.
    This is why it is so simple to smuggle guns and cash proceeds from cartel drug sales back into Mexico.
    NO ONE in the US cares about the hugh number of stolen American cars that have unresticted access to Mexico. All Americans are footing the bill for the mass exodous of US automobiles being stolen in bordertowns. I lived in El Paso in 2004 and my car Insurance doubled, due to all of the stolen vechicles heading south. While attending the US Army Sergeants Major Academy for 6 months, two of my 12 classmates had their new cars stolen there. If anyone asks, "why no one is checking registration of cars with US plates heading south of the border", you will be called a racist.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  157. Tim

    Personaly we need to put up 15 feet high fences with razor wire on top of it with sniper/gun posts/towers 100 yards apart on the US/Mexico border. Then locate the drug cartels drug farm/factories and napalm them to the ground. find all the cartels heads/families and eliminate them. US needs to put a stop to this, we need to put our foot down and show the rest of the world that we will no longer tolerate drugs. If the mexican government will not help us then they will lose everything

    March 25, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  158. Pat,Clearwater Florida

    Legalize Mary Jane, Open a prison in Baha, have joint staff run
    prison. Large fines for arms being sold to the gangs. It's as simple
    as that!!!!

    March 25, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  159. Rose Elward

    Jack, Give the job to the mob. Let the Italian Mafia get rid of the Mexican Cartel the old fashioned way, Mob Warfare. Then legalize specific places for druggies to purchase from the government all the legalized drugs they want to ingest, let them live and die there in that legal place . Rose

    March 25, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  160. Ron Murray

    Jack,the Army Corps of Engineers or Navy Seebees should be able to clear a 300 yard path on the border,plant land mines and warnings (in English)and to cross at you own risk.
    Wheelchair and false leg sales would go up real fast!!

    March 25, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  161. Ron - Ashland Oregon

    Short of legalizing drugs, the best solution is for our government to instruct our central banks not to convert deposits (other than by the Mexican government as necessary) made in dollars to Mexican banks back to pesos for use in Mexico. If dollars couldn't be converted to pesos, so proceeds could be used in Mexico, the drug cartels couldn't usefully deposit dollars smuggled across the border into Mexico and would have to deposit dollars into American banks - where deposits over $10,000 require bank reporting the ID of depositors to our government. This would both provide us the identities of those who are involved in drug trafficking but would also make much of the fruits of those sales much harder to realize. It would be much easier to solve the Mexican drug cartel problem through economic, rather than military, means - and probably would be more effective.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  162. Njaji

    American Basij modeled after the Iranian Basij. This would be a volunteer youth force loyal to the core values of our American Revolution and Constitution respectively, commanded by the President and trained and armed by the CIA. They would roam the streets with logistical and intelligence support supplied by the police, FBI, CIA, Homeland Security etc and crush anything the drug lords tried. It works in Iran and it would work here. Some estimates suggest they have 18 million there. We could get at least that many, which would be plenty to crush the drug lords.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  163. Tim

    legalize the drugs, increase education on them. That way the cartels and our own countrys gangs and dealers will be out of money and jobs like every other law abiding american. People will find a way to do drugs legal or not if they want to.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  164. Phyllis Neal

    Jack, I live in a small town 60 miles from the Mexican border and I a terrified. The drug cartels have already come over the border and are working their way towards us. Unless the US takes immediate action with troops on this side of the border and Mexican troops on the Mexican side of the border to stop these Neanderthal createns from coming across our border and our troops stopping guns going to their side of the border we are going to be sunk! We cannot be responsible for protecting ourselves. That would only make things worse because then normal peaceful people would probably start buying guns and shooting at anthing that looked suspicious. This situation is crazy and the Mexican government has known about it for a long time and did nothing. Phyllis, Hurley, New Mexico

    March 25, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  165. Pro Kankakee, IL.

    We legalized liquor we can legalize drugs, at least we can pay down our debt with the tax dollars, then we will be able to afford all of President Obama's budget, with money to spare at and until the Republicans get back into office to spend it on some new war, and their buddies in big business!!!

    March 25, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  166. Jan Alig (sounds like first half of alligator)

    The root of the Mexican drug related violence in our country (and maybe their's too!) is the blind eye our society turns toward use of illicit drugs. I'm sick to death of the casual attitude which has led to this pervasive and growing "social cancer." Why aren't we holding illicit drug users in our own country accountable? Because that would mean finding fault with family members or friends and neighbors? We need to be rid of the Mexican drug-related violence and the surest way to do that is to STOP THE CONSUMPTION. We can't clean up the Mexican back door until we clean up our own! Thanks for your report. Please talk more about addressing this root problem!

    March 25, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  167. Lesley ABQ, NM

    Hi, Jack:
    We have a plethora of illegal aliens, drugs and weaponary that enter through our El Paso, TX border daily and setting up shop in ABQ and within our Northern counties. The crime has risen and we were ranked the 4th most dangerous State to live in - in the nation. Our youth are being enticed to sell drugs since their no threat with them and our young women being convinced into prostitution to become so called "finanically free". Well, many deaths, assaults and even murder is on the rise and we want our city and counties back. We are in a dual War (economically and with the Drugs) Well, go figure, our infamous, Gov. Bill Richarson, just signed to repeal our Death penalty. I agree with Allen from Georgia - if you sell "Drugs"...get Imprisoned. "Muder" someone, get the Death Penalty and send the illegal aliens back immediately and whomever they support in the U.S. as well.....

    March 25, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  168. Michael Hill

    Jack hope this finds you happy and well. first of all we must legalize marijuna,tax it and use that tax money to secure our border and make heroin and cocaine smuggling and dealing a 20 year first offence crime.As far as the cost of arresting and putting people in prison and the court cost's for marijuana ,we would save billions that's billions.We really need to change ,like you have said the drug war is a joke and the joke is on our children and the citizens of the united states thanks Michael Hill

    March 25, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  169. Brandon from New York

    Legalize marijuana. It's less harmful than cigarettes and its sale in the U.S. contributes to 60% of the profits that the cartels make. If we were to legalize marijuana here we'd save billions in enforcement costs, make billions from taxing it, and reduce the income of the cartels by 60% all at the same time. Why hasn't this been done already?

    March 25, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  170. TOM penna.bucks county

    we need to get all illegals out of this country. my wife was hit in her car by a mexican driver,the police asked him for a green card,he had none they asked him for a visa he had none,he did have fake insurance,a fake address for his registration and a mexican drivers license.he said his chest hurt the warminster police took him to the hospital the tax payers paid for that.so the police were useless we got stuck with the 500. deductable and it cost the insurance co. 7000.00 dollars to fix the car. do you think n.pelosi is in her right mind?

    March 25, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  171. TAYO

    one word jack...LEGALIZE IT......

    March 25, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  172. drew


    Marijuana should be decriminalized. We should invest in rehabilitation for addicts of harsher drugs and we should ask the Mexican government to extradite any top drug lords that are captured.
    Living in Los Angeles I can see that many are going "green" and caring about the environment. At the same time there is a huge demand for cocaine. There is complete disregard for the environmental damage every ounce of cocaine consumed produces (in Colombia and in the US).

    March 25, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  173. David P. Vernon

    Tucson, AZ – most of the excitement about the drug war focuses on the symptoms, not the ACTUAL problem. Drug demand in the US is high, production costs are low, and prohibition laws make the business both highly profitable and completely illegal. All disputes in all illegal businesses are always resolved with violence. High profits pay for expensive guns, expensive subversion of law enforcement officials, and expensive smuggling methods. If drugs were legal, and any addict could get whatever they needed from a doctor and a pharmacy, most of the problems reported in the media about the "war on drugs" would simply go away, because most of the profit in the illegal drug business is due to the laws, not despite them. The only thing that actually reduces drug use/abuse, the root cause of all this trouble, is an effective, truth-based PR campaign, like the one that dethroned tobacco. All the current laws do is run up the profits and encourage the drug cartels. How about reality-based policy, for a change?

    March 25, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  174. Brian


    Sending troops and equipment does not address demand ,only supply. And where there is demand, there will always be supply. Jeffrey Miron's excellent article yesterday makes this point. Prohibition brought us Capone and criminals.We are forgetting the lessons of our history. Marijuana is no different from alcohol in this respect. By making drugs illegal, you relegate the business to criminals. As a result, society receives violence and governments miss tax revenues. More should be spent on education and rehabilitation. I would prefer seeing the billions we are spending on enforcement and imprisonment being spent, instead, on prevention and rehabiitation and thereby address demand.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  175. Michelle D

    I live in near Dallas, TX and you can be sure we see signs of what's going on right here in suburbia.

    First, legalize marijuana, and give Americans the freedom to make their own choices about it. This will take the cartel's major power out from under them, as well as hit them in their business interests.

    Especially when our economy is failing and college is unsure for our children, it would be very easy for the youth in our schools to be lured away to work FOR these cartels.

    We've SEEN in the news that the cartels get kids started by having them sell marijuana at school. If the plant were legal, however, it could be better regulated within the country, and the cartels would lose their "starter lure".

    March 25, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  176. Clare

    You are correct in your observations about our borders and the drug trade. We have wasted too many resources dealing with pot smokers...legalization is the only answer. Dangerous drugs like meth need other considerations such as legalization and rehabilitation. Our government worries about the security of this country but does nothing to aid local law enforcement in controlling Mexican drug gangs that are located throughout the US. We worry about Iraq and Iran and don't seem phased by Mexican gangsters shooting and kidnapping people right here. We have 20,000 troops from the Northern Command stationed right here on US soil. What are they there for? To quell civil unrest in this country...by US citizens. I guess they're not concerned with Mexican drug traffickers in our cities and towns. It seems their priorities are a bit screwy to me.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  177. Veronica


    Why not take some of that stimulus package money and use it to fund and increase the police departments in these cities, after all it is the taxpayers' money.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  178. George Bonafe

    Anthony Fl. The fix is easy Jack, make all drugs legal. I can think of dozens of major problems caused by making drugs illegal, but I cannot think of one single thing that was good about it.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  179. Marty Muszak

    Decriminalize drugs.
    Distribute through clinics.
    Use funds allocated to the drug war to educate.
    Continue to drug test at the work place to discourage use.
    Do this and the pushers will be unemployed and the cartels will fold overnight.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  180. Rob Murphy

    Dear Jack,

    Assemble all the Iraqi vets who are currently unemployed, and give them a job with the Border Patrol. They've already got the experience from running the police action in Iraq, as well as are familiar with equipment like Predator drones, and 1 drone can patrol a 250 mile radius, and if you put up several, you could monitor the border 24/7. I'm sure that some of these homeless vets could be put to good use rather than drawing unemployment, as well as would probably appreciate being in the service of their country again.

    Rob Murphy, USN (Ret)
    Amarillo TX

    March 25, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  181. Vic King

    Al Capone did well during the prohibition and organized crime prospered for years and still does but not because of alcohol; now it’s drugs and other things. I say legalize all drugs and then tax them and use the money (part of it) to educate people as to the perils of using habit forming anything. It’s a win, win, win situation and we have more revenue, and we, over time, eliminate the illegal drug problem and reduce the natural supply and demand related to selling uncontrolled drugs illegally. I am 66 years old and once believed we could eliminate drug lords and criminals by “declaring war”, but we now know it just does not work and we are reliving the prohibition in SPADES.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  182. Pro Kankakee, IL.

    We legalized liquor we can legalize drugs, at least we can pay down our debt with the tax dollars, then we will be able to afford all of President Obama’s budget, with money to spare at least and until the Republicans get back into office, to spend it on some new war and their buddies in big business!!!

    March 25, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  183. Pat, Pa.

    Legalize drugs, especially marijuana. The druggies are going to go after it anyway, so why shouldn't we make money off of these pot heads.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  184. BMac

    I think it is time to legalize marijuana and tax the hell out of it. This would take a large money-maker away from the cartels and help pay a few some of the bills that we seem to be running up these days.
    We should also bring back our troops in Iraq and put some of those returning service people on the border and shut it down. The cry that we need illegal aliens to gather crops could be met with a farm subsidy that pays farmers who hire American workers at a higher rate instead of paying farmers not to grow selected crops-Hey, maybe they could grow marijuana and turn it into an export to Mexico!

    March 25, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  185. Bill Kaneohe, Hawaii

    It's quite simple Jack!

    America needs to adopt the laws and ways of Singapore. Execution once convictied. Once a person has been tried & convicted as a trafficker, distrubitor and or manufacturer of narcotics. Execute them immediately. Once this law is in place, aiding drug traffickers, illegal aliens, resident aliens, Americans and whomever else fits this catagory will suffer the dealth penalty.

    Just that simple! Strike the fear of dealth in them. The illegals are even in Hawaii Jack. The Cartels have set up shop on Oahu, The Big Island of Hawaii and elsewhere throughout the island chain. We have a huge illegal alien migration problem from Mexico and other than Mexico.

    Lastly last year we had a Meth addict throw a toddler onto the freeway below. Who is the number one trafficker of Meth into the United States? Mexico!



    Kaneohe, Hawaii

    March 25, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  186. Bill, Cupertino, CA


    The only way you're going to control drugs is through legalization and regulation. Legalizing marijuana, for example, would put at the government's disposal a whole panoply of tools with which it could drive down the profits of the trade and make it much more difficult for kids to get a hold of the stuff. On the other hand, if we keep tilting at windmills with this idiot 'war on drugs', the staggering profits that are available will continue to act as a powerful incentive for the drug cartels to mobilize and employ whatever resources are necessary to counteract the government's anti-drug efforts.
    Cupertino, CA

    March 25, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  187. Gerry In Toronto

    The USA can not win the war on drugs by fighting in other countries and only attacking the supply chain.

    The real attack needs to happen on the demand side, if US citizens didn't take drugs, there wouldn't be a problem.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  188. Sean- Columbia MD

    Simple! Legalize Marajuana and deport all illegal aliens while we secure the border and force companies to use e-verify. Then reform immigration policies to allow those who have U.S. born children to trickle back into the country after background checks. In the meanwhile, those American born children should receive bi-weekly checks until they are brought back into the U.S. and or until they are 18.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  189. Dash Enedot

    Cafferty, I saw you at lunch. Offer all the facts. I didn't hear you mention anything about the Hells Angles / Arian Nation / Skin Heads and their influence over any of this. They work from inside the prison and have runners out on the streets. Sorry, but it isn't just the "Mexicans" dealing drugs. Oh, and what about George Bush Sr. when he was sleeping in Manuel Noriegas bed? They had a sweet little deal concerning the School of the Americas and a cocaine cartel as well. The answer is not blame. It's about how to fix it. Work backwards Jack... we need to remove politics from this drug war and begin to help the innocent by standers on both side of the border. This whole anti-Mexican war is a Bushista fabrication and their bend on true-speak. Thanks Jack, Dash Enedot

    March 25, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  190. yungmoney321

    my mom always used to say the goo have 2 suffer with the bad...we need to sart a wide speard operation to round up all illegals and send them home if they cant show a green card send them home.then we can raid these spots were they operate and send them to jail just like every other american who decides to sell drugs....

    March 25, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  191. Michelle-Ft. Myers, FL

    There are simple steps that can be taken to stop drug cartels and reverse the deficit: end the prohibition of drugs/legalize drugs, legalize prostitution, and tax the church. Ending prohibition would stop much of the violence that occurs in urban America. To date, 29 school aged children have been killed either on their way to school or on their way home from school in the city of Chicago. Why? Because the GDs, BDs, Folks, Peeps, etc. are fighting for territory.

    It's reminiscent of the days of alcohol prohibition, which brought nothing with it but violence. Let's stop feigning morality, principles, values, etc. and look at the big picture. Everyday I turn on the television or radio, I'm made aware of the fact that morality in this country is like chivalry: DEAD. Let's kill the pretense and get to the root of the problem. Then, the drug lords and don themselves in suits and ties and apply for jobs in the pharmaceutical industry. They have the experience.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  192. Robert Roden

    Jack, it's simple supply and demand. Legalize "Victimless Crimes", and tax the inevitable transactions. Isn't it time we learned from history? Didn't the idiotic experiment with the prohabition of alcohol in the early twentieth century mean anything to anyone but Al Capone and his gang?

    March 25, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  193. Don

    Liquor's legal. Cigarettes are legal. Why aren't drugs treated the same way? Oh, and let's bring the troops home from Iraq NOW and then declare war on Mexico, our REAL enemy. Their Government is even more corrupt than ours. And they're turning the U.S. into Mexico North. Darn, I almost forgot, it's too bad we proved in Viet Nam and Iraq we can't win a war unless the other guys wear uniforms.
    Don from Holiday, Florida

    March 25, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  194. Patrick Trosch

    In the 1920's and 30's when the US government banned alcohol, the need for alchol fueled the mobs who cause death and destruction to innocent citizens. The cartels are the same as the mobs where, and once alcohol was legalized again the mob started to lose power. The idea that drugs cause 'the ills' of society is preposterous, what really hurts our society is greed, suppression of rights, and the love of power. The US was a fully functioning county when all these drugs where legal, so instead of spending millions of dollars on the 'war on drugs' we should be putting it to better use. Besides, how are you supposed to win a war against and enemy that can't be killed. We must remember that we all have the right to do almost anything we want, as long as our actions don't affect the life, liberty or property of others.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  195. Kevin Taxachusetts

    Well Barrack can make a speech and offer to talk to the leaders of the drug cartel. That should stop it. That's how he fixes everything else.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  196. Stan Woldtvedt

    It's simple, Jack. According to a rcent article by a Harvard economics professor, we take away the incentive created by the illegality of the drugs in the black market. Basically, we take their knees out by de-criminalizing the drugs, by making them legalized, regulated, and taxed. Think alcohol and tobacco, two of the most dangerous drugs we know of, yet we tolerate them because of historic use and trials of prohibition. The worst thing we can do is to continue the War on Drugs, which has made it's own culture of corruption, and degredation of border towns to the core, because of the amount of money involved. Stan, Shelby MT

    March 25, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  197. Jeff from Las Vegas

    Sadly enough, it is quite obviuos that the only solution to this problem is to legalize drugs. We've spent years trying to cure the addiction and have been extremely unsuccessful. The deadly cartels only exist because they supply the drugs so many consume. If the drugs became legal and regulated by the government, the street wars would finally end and law enforcement could then focus on other crimes that effect our communities. Also, we could surely use the extra tax revenues right now!

    March 25, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  198. John

    It's the same problem as prohibition and requires the same solution. Decriminalization, regulation and taxation. big acohol, big pharma, prison-industrial complex, law enforcement, lawyers, prosecutors, religious zealots, politicians and rest who benefit from present policy keep it illegal. 2 million in prison and 230 cities infected is nothing. Future will be miilions more non-violent sick people in prison, violent offenders released to make room for them and 500 cities infected. Just tell us what the numbers are that proves war on drugs a failure so we will know when it gets here and not waste time and energy until such time and when it does get here there will be no argument against it. if there is no number and the sham will go on no matter what, just tell us that too. T

    March 25, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  199. James R. Buch

    It is time to seriously consider the idea of legalizing drugs.
    The profit from these sales should go to the government
    instead of the gangsters . It simply makes sense. Did we
    not go through this problem with alcohol many years ago?
    The income would bring billions of dollars into our
    treasury and solve our debt problem
    James R. Buch
    Redondo Beach, Calif.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  200. John P



    Legalize and tax drugs... use the proceeds to fund a first rate anti-drug use campaign and first rate rehab programs.

    -Drug cartels and violent small gangs will cease to exist

    -cops can spend all of their time busting viloent offenders instead of wasting their time on victimless crime

    -terrorists will lose a primary source of funding

    -prisons will be less crowded, so violent offenders can spend their full terms incarcerated

    -junlies will no longer have to mug and rob people to support their habits


    March 25, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  201. Phil

    Secure the border for national security reasons. The war on drugs is an abject failure. It is time to get real and decriminalize drugs and provide on demand treatment for folks who want to get clean. The only way to win the drug war is to remove the black market profit incentives. I realize the prison contractors, law enforcement agencies, lawyers, street gangs and drug cartels won't like this plan any more than the anti-drug idealogues, but it is the only way to put a stop to this foolishness. Countries that have decriminalized have seen a decrease in usage, and violent crimes and burglaries have virtually disappeared from their streets.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  202. lynn

    Mexican cartels could not set up shop in 230 American cities without the help of Americans. America needs to go after the Americans who are assisting the cartels and supplying the guns and no doubt making millions of tax free dollars!

    March 25, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  203. Bert

    As I read the posts about legalizing drugs it sure scares me that there are people with that mentality that walk around in population.
    Obviously they are stoners that don't care about anyone including there childrens futures! Just getting high?
    Could you please tell me how legalizing pot,cocaine, heroin and god knows what else will be good for our country/They say it will stop crime and help the police?Frightening!
    Perhaps they should camp out for a weekend in one of our inner cities.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  204. Donald Morrison

    Jack, I usually like your questions, but the fact that this is being asked says how sorry we are as a nation. We invaded Afghanistan, on a very correct and noble mission, and one huge result was a 400%+ rise in heroin production there. What have we really done about drugs or anything illegal coming through anywhere, let alone Mexico? We arrest farmers halfway around the world and detain them indefinitely, as some of them might be terrorists, after all, but illegal's from Mexico get a ride home, no charge. You can't charge the Mexican government for our cost of stemming the flow, because their economy is funded by those same illegals sending money earned here home. I don't have an idea, but a question: Wasn't the former Mexican President's own brother one of these drug lords?

    March 25, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  205. Jay in Arkansas

    Jack I'm a 68 yr old white guy, I watched "tricky Dicky" declare his failed war on drugs, at that time my late mother said "that dumb SOB, prohibition didn't work the first time, and it won't work now". Nearly 40 years later she was right. And drugs have never slowed down, and our sorry "officials", have allowed criminals to control the US drug trade. Booze and tobacco are legal, they are not good but at least not controlled by criminals, drug cartels, and even the Taliban. If our "officials" continue to support the criminals being in charge, they got some splanin to do. All I'm saying is legalize what is currently going on everywhere, that removes the black market profits and no one fights over worthless turf.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  206. keith from florida

    Bring our troops home to patrol our borders. Let them try to bring their bull here. The problem is we've been trying to fight them on their home turf. Legalize drugs and develope alternative energy in this country. This will give them much less money to play with and make our great country even stronger. Use the money saved from the war on drugs to finance counseling, education and rehabilitation. I know that these aren't new ideas but we had better wake up pretty soon!

    March 25, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  207. Martin - San Antonio, TX

    Would you rather buy beer from a back alley dealer or a reputable alcohol establishment? We don't have that choice when it comes to drugs. There are no good and honest people selling drugs because good and honest people don't break the law. Decriminalize drugs and the cartels will lose half of their customers overnight.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  208. tyris

    Jack, how about the obvious solution: decriminalizing drugs? Who is going to buy illegal mexican drugs when you can go to the abc store and pick up a bag of grass legitimately? not to mention the fact that the government can levy taxes on the drugs that would be a boon to our flailing economy, and neutering drug-funded criminal organizations like the cartels, not to mention the taliban, can't hurt either. if we spend less resources trying to eradicate drugs and the desire for drugs we can spend more time on regulation and education. alcohol abuse skyrocketed during prohibition. maybe this country should begin acting intelligently for once?

    March 25, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  209. Jean

    First of all -Jack thank you for bringing up this horrific problem. IF the borders would have been protected from the get go instead of ignoring this invasion for the past eight years it wouldn't have esculated to this current situation. Our LAWS should have been inforced then, now the government is going to have to get a hold of this and DO SOMETHING IMMEDIATELY like protecting any further invasions or shipments from either direction, firmly enforcing laws and prosecutions.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  210. mike

    The President needs to grab the 3rd rail of American politics and call for the legalization of marijuana. The pro's far outweigh the con's. Come on Mr President stand up for what's right and forget the politics.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  211. Raul

    Rude awakenings for many Americans that have been buying the lies of our politicians, like You said this is the result of lack of commitment, serious commitment from past administrations, Thru the years I've been amazed of the blindness on the American people, for instance I have always questioned the fact that we all know the names of the Mexican, Colombian, etc, Drug lords, we know who they are and their names, but how come we never know who the USA Drug lords are, whom are the hands pulling the strings from this side of the border, who are the real man in charge, who are the man in the dark, on the other hand the simplicity of thinking of our people here in the US, believing that this is a south American problem, “all those dirty Latinos”, guess what, all those Latinos are only the servants of who knows who, powerful American or Americans that I am pretty sure live very "DECENT" lives enjoying the money from their brutally illegal business and blame somebody else for it, the hypocrisy of the federal government and the banks facilitating to this dark interests the money laundering and the trafficking of guns south. It is time that we as Americans have a reality check and acknowledge that WE HAVE A PROBLEM, THAT IS NOT SOMEBODY ELSE PROBLEM; it is time that we forget our double standard and do something about it.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  212. Daniel Martinez, Georgetown, TX

    The Netherlands legalized drugs over 20 years ago. Usage remained the same. The weakness to it is that there is an organized crime element in aspects of it. Legalize drugs, with stiff regulation. Find a way to prevent the criminal element,, tax the living heck out of it, prosecute users who commit crimes harshly. Those who use hard drugs like cocaine and heroin, must be registered. Those who deal without a license will face long prison terms. If you deal to children are given life terms.

    The difference between fighting it, and regulation, taxation, registration, is at least 1 billion. California's largest cash crop is marijuana, hemp can be made into paper, rope as well as other products.

    If we did the same with gambling and prostitution with tough regulation and heavy taxation would also save on fighting these crimes. All three SIN Industries would help get us out of the deficit. I know some will think it's the end of the world to do this, but better the devil you know. These industries have been here since the beginning of cicilization, we can't fight it, so legalize and tax it.

    The overall affect on the Netherlands and it's society has not changed since drugs were legalized, and they made money for the public in general from it. Another look at it, is that it would lower taxes.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  213. Jim

    Quit requiring prescriptions for any drugs...Legalize them all, for over the counter purchase...take the pushers profit out of it. The only way to win the war on drugs...the battle would be over and it would lower the cost of health care, too. Why should we have to pay a doctor for a prescription for medicine...Tell a pharmacist your symptoms and he can sell you the medicine you need. Take out ALL of the middlemen.
    And if some idiot wants to abuse the drugs, hell...they're gonna do it whether they're legal or not. We Never learn from history...remember prohibition?

    March 25, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  214. Susan from Sedona AZ

    Somebody needs to talk to Americans about their drug problem. I don't mean just students and hard-core users...

    I'm referring to the general population from housewives to professionals who think it's fun, "relaxing" and o.k. to score pot or other hallucinogens for their parties or daily use. The casual user has contributed far more than they think to the Mexican cartels who ply their wares with great success to the incredible number of users in this country.

    Most people in that category don't consider themselves addicts, nor in need of counseling or rehabilitation. There is nothing that will stop America's insatiable appetite for illicit drugs. In the early 90s I did volunteer work for youth substance abuse prevention programs and all efforts to curtail drug use have essentially been futile. A large problem, especially in more affluent areas (I lived in Scottsdale) was that the parents either o.k.'d their kid's drug use (no kidding), did it themselves, or were in complete denial of what was happening. I'm sure that holds true for this decade as well.

    Knowing that, I believe legalizing and controlling popular psychotropics would take most of the power away from the cartels. I hate to say that, because as a non-drug use myself it seems a tragedy to me to lose brilliant minds and great kids to the use of drugs.

    Along with legalization, it would be absolutely necessary to launch full-blown educational campaigns that present all current research and knowledge about how drugs work and the problems they can cause. Then people can make up their own minds whether they really want to use them or not. People like me (non-users) absolutely cannot "preach" regarding the issue – it just doesn't work.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  215. Paul

    Dear Jack,

    I am Paul from Central Louisiana and you are talking about border partol for drugs. Yes, the Bush Administration and Obama are to late because after 9-11 our borders should have been closed, Because if the drug cartel can slip tons of drugs across our borders. What is terrifing is what are the people that want to drestroy us have already crossed our open borders with other chemicals and weapons, by the tons.


    March 25, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  216. Colby

    Reading the other comments, I see many who claim that we can solve this problem by "throwing the book" at drug-addicts/ dealers. Laughable... First, our prison system is already at the brink of imploding with all of the drug users we've wrongfully piled into them. We have nowhere to put a (new) huge wave of drug users. As for those who have solutions based on "throwing the book" at the drug-dealers: go ahead and find every drug dealer in every city in America and get rid of them. Others will fill their place. So long as billions of dollars stand to be made in this industry (due to the prohibition) new dealers willl never be hard to find. The only solution is legalization. Anyone who denies that fact is lying to himself, confused, or hopelessly simple.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  217. linda frederick

    jack, for 30 yrs our drug policy has been just say no. how absurd. we fill our prisons with the addicted drug addicts while the drug suppliers get richer and richer. stop putting abddicts in prison,put them in rehabs.stop the need to use and you will stop the drug demand. linda

    March 25, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  218. Charlie

    Ah yes, illegals seeking asylem here, I was wondering how they would be keeping on, keeping on. Very clever these politicians. Don't do anything about the drug traffic or gun traffic. Keep the uproar going. THEN we can accept more of the poor terrified people leaving a horrible place. The problem is they are coming to a horrible drug ridden, gun ridden place......... but we will have cheap labor.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  219. Robert Passarge

    ditto Edward (4:02 PM)
    I've been saying this for years but most of my conservative friends don't see the parallel with prohibition. Sell drugs cheaper than they sell on the street – tax it – use the taxes for the people who want/need help to quit. The end of prohibition didn't cause a big surge in alcoholism and the sale of cheap drugs isn't going to cause a surge in drug addiction.
    Most home burglaries are for supporting a drug habit. Free the police to do more important work.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  220. Paul in DC

    Legalize it and the drug cartels become irrelevent overnight. No more drug war. End of story!

    March 25, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  221. mitchell, arkansas

    end the prohibition and the problem will disappear. our dollars will stay here in the United States. the cartels, drug dealers, gangs, and criminal element will disappear. there are many other common sense reasons to surrender on the war on drugs.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  222. Mark

    Jack, no one in our Government is serious about what needs to be done because some of what needs to be done is not politically popular. A "Hadrian's Wall" needs to be built with National Guard troops and the whole works. I guarantee if done right it will greatly curb drugs, guns, and violence.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  223. Kevin in Carrboro, North Carolina

    It is astounding to me how quickly this country has forgotten the lessons of Prohibition. When the eighteenth amendment was repealed in 1933, the violent mafia groups that were controlling the black market for alcohol lost much of their funding due to competition from cheaper, legal sellers. If we, as a country, want to prevent cartel violence in our major cities, the simplest and best solution is to cut off their flow of capital. Ending drug prohibition would make it economically infeasible for Mexican drug cartels to continue operation in the USA. State governments could even implement a sales tax to help solve the budget problems that have become all too common across the country.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  224. ugo A. Lewisville TX

    I see a Pres.inspirng hope everyday by speaking to me about things done to fix this ailing economy,I do not know about you but whatever it is that you see,Let's give him credit for his confidence and ability to face all this problems squarely.If the republicans knew it all,what went wrong to bring us into this mess in the Ist place or better still,what real solutions are they placing on the table.oh!come on

    March 25, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  225. david doherty

    Jack, I think we need to finish that fence, for a defensive standpoint.
    We need to have a line and dementrate that if you try to cross it, you die! The politicians in this country have enough sources of ill gotten gains, we need to draw the line at smuggled drugs, I know this seems like a joke, but even this is beneath them.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  226. Peter

    The wealthy in this country look corrupt to the rest of the world. The wealthy will have their cheap labor so they can stuff even more profits in their pockets. US taxpayers are forced to subsidize the cheap illegal labor of the wealthy and if citizens are injured by crime and drugs, that is just the cost of business. We are nothing more collateral damage.

    The politicians will never impact the profits of their corporate buddies by controlling the border.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  227. Pro Kankakee, IL.

    For years very few have reported on all the kidnappings and murders of Americans, and the government did nothing about it , they did not even bring it up. But now that they can no longer sit on their hands they finally send some agents to our southern border after 8 long years! And when they go down there the drug dealer are better equipped then our guys! GO FIGURE!

    March 25, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  228. Anna

    We can not win if we fight supply and not demend. It is US demend that creates this problem.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  229. Gary Bryant


    The "War on Drugs" is a sick and costly joke. It is really an employment insurance policy for police and the DEA. The answer is obvious, legalize and tax recreational drugs. When you take the money out of the equation, you take away the power of the criminals. Where is the morality in keeping the status quo ? Prohibitionists seem not to care that misery, death, and destruction result from their self-righteous prudishness. Prohibition does not work, it just creates the circumstances for criminal profit. History makes that abudantly clear.


    March 25, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  230. Dianne Lee

    Make drugs available at cost for those who test positive for addiction. That will mean that once a person is addicted to drugs, the drug dealer has lost his customer. Since returning customers are the life blood of the business, there is no reason to get people hooked, because they are then able to get the drugs from the government for as close to free as we can make them.
    Since there is no profit in supplying drugs just long enough to qualify people to get them from the government, there is no drug business, there is no reason to smuggle them into the country, and eventually there are no addicts, because there's no profit in creating them.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  231. Bill

    Legalize but we all know BIG money wont allow it!

    Bill in PA

    March 25, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  232. S. West

    Jack I would not grow radishes in my back yard if my kids didn't eat them , If there was no market for drugs in the U.S. they would not keep shipping them here. Wake up America, you have a serious amount of people who are taking drugs!!

    March 25, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  233. David Harryman, San Diego

    Our prohibition laws created the cartels and the black market; end the prohibition, and the market dies overnight. Does the government really think if they legalize drugs I'm going to run straight down to the drugstore and become a heroin addict? Anyone who wants to be an addict is one now. The government knows better, they simply want to perpetuate our enormous prison systems, along with all the ineffective law enforcement officials who suck our tax paying blood. End prohibition, destroy the black market, and make this superfluous enforcement army go get a real, productive job.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  234. mike

    all you would have to do is decriminalize certain or most "illegal substances" and get rid of laws that prohibit the growing, manufacturing, and sale of said substance. freeing up money from the prison system and various police forces so that it can be allocated in a more useful way. you could even go as far as taxing these drugs creating a source of income where we used to just dump money without seeing real results. whats the difference between a local drug dealer and a small businessman? if we can grow on our own soil, why bother dealing with mexicans for some herb.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  235. Karl from SF, CA

    The War on Drugs is a farce at best. With the cut back in funds for police and over-crowded prisons, we are spinning our wheels. Legalize the stuff and put the dealers out of business. Let the cops chase real criminals. Any drug, legal or otherwise, can be gotten by anyone that wants it. Rush Limbaugh proved that. We are only kidding ourselves by putting our head in the sand and think it’s getting better. It’s not! It’s time for a radical change of course here, too.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  236. Patty.D. Bristol, Pa.

    Dear Jack, I'm not sure what should be done, but we know how this started. By allowing are borders to be open, Big Business had all the cheap labor they wanted. As soon as a section of wall was built, Big Business found ways to avert it. First, fine any businesses that use illegals, second, any illegal caught up in the drug trade is to be deported immediately, third, tell Mexico to stop the flow of drugs in this country or we will shut down all trade. The fact we give Mexico so much leeway signals the USA weak. This has to stop now.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  237. Joe Mussell

    It's obvious Jack...Protect our borders. It wouldn't hurt it we stopped smoking dope either.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  238. Al from Socal

    This problem has been brewing for years although you can blame Bush for not completely securing the borders you have to give thim credit for least doubling the ranks of the border patrol officers. It Is for the Democrats that had been the opposition to securing the border. They're the ones blocking the wall there the ones that have been against the deportation, they are the ones whose leader Nancy Pelosi says enforcing our immigration laws is an un-American. At the same time you have liberal states like California which have legalized marijuana and have a pro drug attitudes. Unfortunately the trend will only get worse until we treat drugs and the countries that provide them the same as we treat countries that produce terrorism.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  239. Jeff

    In my prior post, when I was speaking about the supply side, I meant to say the demand in the US for the drug. Thanks for listening!

    March 25, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  240. Gil

    It is time for the US to take responsibility of this problem. The root of the problem is drug use in the United States. Drug use in the US is not even mentioned on the news reports. If there is no demand, there will be no profit for drug lords and corrupt officials.


    March 25, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  241. Steve of Hohenwald TN.

    If it wouldn`t lead to the downfall of so many political careers corrupted by ilegal drugs, they would have already been legalized. Legalization is the only wepon that will actually stop the cartel. Just ask Al Capone.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  242. Chigjuan

    Lets face facts – Americans love drugs – legal and illegal – as long as money is to be made the drug business will always be.

    We need to acknowlegde our legal addition to drugs – then somehome take the financial benefits aways. We have tried fighting the drug wars on City Streets – this have not worked- we tried increased jail terms – this have not work.

    If you take away American dollars/money laundering – these drug guys would have nothing

    Note: I just don't understand why we have so-many illegal immigrants in the US – We took our eyes off the ball – it was just a matter of time before this would become a National Security Issue.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  243. Bruce

    Gee, Jack prohibition didn't work in the 30s either. It only caused a lot of crime and corruption. Who'd a thunk it would do the same thing again? How many more years, dollars, and lives are we going to continue to waste on this stupid "war on drugs?"

    March 25, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  244. Janet, Yosemite Gateway, California

    The drug cartel would be non-existant in this country if Americans would GET OFF ILLEGAL DRUGS. No demand, no supply!

    March 25, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  245. John P

    Think of all the money that will be saved... cops, the court system, prisons, etc.etc.


    March 25, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  246. Paul

    Hi Jack. Drugs were made illegal because the medical lobby doesn't want self diagnosis. the Pharmacutical industry doesnt like self medication,and the tobbaco and booze companies don't like competition. Reagans "war on drugs" has created drug empires well armed,well lawyered and billions in cash. prisons are full and the police have been joining these gangs for 30 years.
    Take there money away...legalize...and tax.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  247. beverly rosas fort lee nj

    For over forty years now, the war on drugs has been a dismal failure. now is the time to look at some of the other countries that have legalized drugs. We must find a way to put these ruthless drug lords out of business. These drug wars have only gotten worse.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  248. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Send in "licensed" bounty hunters into the cities where Mexican cartels are operating. The Mexican government can't stop the bounty hunters in our country and if they attempt to do so, then it should be clear to us who is for or against these cartels.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  249. Mary C

    Legalize drugs (of course we will ultimately face the same potential for misuse as with alcohol) and let's collect the taxes on the sales. All drug lords caught should pay back taxes on their illegal sales plus penalty and interest.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  250. Laura CN

    America should legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana. This could severely cut the consumer drug market from the Mexican cartels and keep American dollars in America. This would also increase the protection of civil liberties and the personal safety of the numerous non-violent marijuana users in this country. In addition, the income derived from taxation of marijuana combined with the decreased spending for the war on drugs has an estimated positive budget impact of $77 billion.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  251. Bea Rouse

    What should be done?

    Part is happening now–Obama sending more help to bordering states.

    Now, we need to send FBI experts to the police offices of each of those "infected" cities and help them set up SWAT-like groups to root out the cartel members.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  252. Gwen

    It's so simple. Legalize drugs (especially marijuana), grow them in the US, tax them like alcohol and tobacco, and stop filling our prisons with non-violent drug offenders. Oh, and while you're at it, repeal the three strikes law for non-violent crimes. Leave the prisons for the people that are really a danger to society.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  253. Pro Kankakee, IL.

    We put over a million Americans in prison for drug use, and sale and guess what we are still losing the war! It does not make since to allow your enemy to sit in a safe haven for years to launch their drug in our country. Man this sound so much like what is happening in Afghanistan, and Pakistan! While we wasted 6.5 years in Iraq!

    Are we doomed to repeat the past or what?

    March 25, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  254. Joe

    Build the Great Wall of the U.S.A. like China and Germany. That would put alot of people to work (building and protecting). If you caught trafficing or selling drugs no trail just 2 bullets to the head. That way they can't go back to kill and deal again. Think I'm harsh. Riddle me this Batman...we had 4,251 troops dead in Iraq as of February 24, 2009. The Mexican drug war claimed over 7,000+ dead just last year. War on drugs is alot more serious to America than Iraq.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  255. aaron

    now Jack you and every intelligent person knows this failed "drug war" is to blame for the war along the borders,its all about supply and demand, as long as the demand for drugs is here the supply will be met, you could shut off all borders and you will just have people here meeting the demand.aslong as you have prohibition you have crime,death,and billions of tax payer dollars going down the drain. we need to Legalize and regulate drugs to stop the HUGE flow of money and guns going to other countries.PLEASE SOMEONE TELL MR OBAMA IF HE CANT KEEP DRUGS OUT OF MAXIMUM SECURITY PRISONS STOP USEING ARE MONEY IN THIS FAILED FAILED DRUG WAR. thanks Jack

    March 25, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  256. Steven

    Jack The war on drugs is a farce because of Sanctuary Citys political Indiferance , Failed policies and lack of enforcement. The only support for legalization of drugs comes from apathy, users and those who see an opportunity to exploit them. The country has been dumbed down enough it's time to take it back.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  257. hardwater-aka-ice

    Total legalization is the answer. The only people benefiting from this insane policy are drug lords and gun manufacturers and corrupt politicians. Drugs don't kill people...people using drugs only kill themselves. Guns are legal and 99% of gun owners don't shoot themselves for the other 1% they will kill themselves whether it is legal to or not. It is morally reprehensible that governments try to stop people from doing drugs by going to war and getting innocent people killed in the crossfire. There is not enough time or space to write all the reasons as to why drugs should be legal, but for every argument against I am sure I have a more compelling argument to the contrary. Open up your minds people and start thinking for yourself.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  258. Tom in Tampa, Florida

    Jack, it is a sad state of affairs when our government and the Cartels have the same shared agenda, namely continuing the anarchy that is inherent with our failed "War on Drugs"

    March 25, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  259. Karen - Nashville TN

    I hate to say it, Jack, but the biggest deterrent of all is the death penalty. As long as there is so much to gain and so little to lose, the drugs will keep coming.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  260. r.c

    I live in Oregon where we have medical marijuana,yes it does make it way to the public thats because its a good drug, a lot of people use it.Yes pot should be legal and sold to adults,this may put the drug cartel out of business,along with the decriminalization of cocaine.I have the right to put what ever I want into my body,no one owns me.Stop the lies and legalize.If this was really about drugs dont you think that we would have had a civil war by now,over 800,000 were arrested last year for weed.At the end of Bush 1 s term there was 3 million in prison for using marijuana.Republicans,and so called religious cults have started this war.Reap what you sow.If you go around the world and tell people that cant live the way they want too,well its pay back.I am sure this is NOT about drugs,but America has killed and destroyed a lot of families around the world in the name of religion, and the war on drugs,this has gone on for decades!End the war on drugs!!!!

    March 25, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  261. Michelle from Palm Springs

    We got our own war at home.. should of done something about this a long time ago, it's going to take years of cleaning this mess up, they know the people of Mexico are scare and Texas so they got the upperhand which should of never happen, now we have to send troops to fight a war on our own soil! what a Mess!!! I don't think Legalizing drugs will make anything any better, just have more people strung out on drugs which in results will be robbing and more killing, so that's not a solution to the problem!

    March 25, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  262. Justin

    We can either go two ways: we can setup up a police state in order to continue trying deter people from getting high, or, we can decriminalize the most lucrative drugs, like marijuana. That means we'd need to come up with sensible laws regulating who can use them, and where. I'm ok with my waiter getting high after work at a "coffee shop", but I don't want my surgeon to ever smoke, you know?

    March 25, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  263. george

    If the drug trade stops, many more people will be unemployed. MANY people make a living on the drug trade, so just legalize drugs like liquor and the government will be happy too. Remember when booze was illegal? This is no different. My generation started the drug era and now we want it stopped. I'm 59 years old and i've done my share. Let people get high if they want.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  264. Mickie

    First of all, I have never used drugs, but I say legalize drugs and punish only those selling to kids or commiting other crimes while on drugs. We let people kill themselves by drinking too much and they barely get punished if the get a DUI. Recently, somebody was in the paper who had 19 DUI's. Now someone with one incident of "marijuana" possession, might get 10 years in jail even if they are not selling to someone. Let the government tax drugs and let people kill themselves if they are so inclined. As it is, they get free treatment, we have to save their jobs and they are not charged higher medical coverage as smokers are and smoking is legal. Now where is the sense in that. If you legalize it, there won't be so much money in bringing it across the border and gangs won't be able to sell it for so much. It's not rocket science.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  265. Rae from Indiana

    How did we stop the violence during prohibition? We legalized, regulated and taxed. Of course we didn't do it until the mafia already established itself here with money earned during prohibition. We could have ended this before it started.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  266. John, Fort Collins, CO

    I'll join the chorus for legalizing marijuana, then increasing the penalty for the harder drugs. Apply taxes like liquor and cigarettes to raise revenue to be used to hire agents to seal the Mexican border. Prohibition was a failure and so are our current drug laws.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  267. Wayne McClintock

    Legalize drugs!!! They are available to everyone anyway. Take out the profit for the cartels and dealers. This would reduce crime from theft and other crimes that are required from poor people to get money for their drugs. This would give a huge law enforcement dividend which could be used for drug programs to save people from drug addiction.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  268. Mary

    If our government and the government of Mexico were to decriminalize drugs, the situation would improve.

    Fort Wayne, Indiana

    March 25, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  269. Anastasia

    I can not believe alcohol is free but marijuana is illegal. What is the worst that can happen when you smoke?? But when the government makes a law even when its outdated they never remove it. We are losing money from arresting people not making money. I do not understand why we can't vote on this like we vote for other issues.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  270. Mauricio

    Marijuana (not all drugs) needs to be legalized. the US should follow the example set by the Netherlands. We cannot continue to pour money and resources into a failing program, controlling our borders and fighting international cartels. It is not just Mexico. By legalizing marijuana, the goverment can control it just like alcohol. Furthermore, this will create jobs (at many levels) from the growing process to distribution and retail. and, most importantly, it will create revenues: directly through tax revenues and sales revenues, and indirectly by redirecting the resources that are currently being exhausted on this problem.

    lastly, drug treatment programs are not the solution. they would not be successful, this would just create additional debt and failure. look at tobacco users, only those who want to quit will find a solution.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  271. Jon K.

    Bring the war home. Reassign all U.S. troops to border patrolling and coast guarding. Place tariffs on all incoming and outgoing goods to protect U.S. manufacturers and consumers. Fund technology to detect and identify drugs and poisons with hand-held, battery powered remotes and bring the price down so consumers can afford one for each household. Create laws that allow easy licensing of drug users and addicts. Create laws to allow Big Pharma to compete with the currently illegal drug cartels. Remove the corporate shields so we can sue individuals that use monopolistic practices and fraud to force prices up. Clean up advertising law. Is congress brain-dead? No, just chicken, ineffective. Recall. Impeach or pursue any and all legal avenues to return us to effective government.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  272. c

    Simple solution: take their money away. Legalize all drugs. Tax them. Empty the prisons of nonviolent first offenders of bogus drug possession violations. Spend any money for the "war" on drugs (police, prisons, etc.) on drug treatment programs and actually HELP people, because drug use is never going to go away. Ever.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  273. Peg

    Seriously, Jack..it is time to legalize marijuana, tax the hell out of it and fix the fiscal woes and move along.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  274. lynnej

    There are two ways out of this mess: treat the drug cartels and dealers like terrorists or legalize drugs hitting them right in the wallet.

    What I would like to know is where was all this outcry when the areas being terrorized by drugs and violence (and still are) were neighborhoods where people of color lived?

    I guess the fish has to cross a stream into a richer pond to get noticed.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  275. CSM Daniel Luke Joseph Diaz

    Jack, that does not surprise me, the Cartels have their hands in all kinds of cookie jars and as long as the government is dipping their hands in there for treats, it will not stop. I am an combat veteran, so saddle me up and send me in with a brigade and you will see how quickly these cartel cowards run back across the Rio Grande with their tails tucked.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  276. Roy Daum

    As an El Paso person, we miss the thrust of the issue if we only focus on Mexico. Without the buyer the seller is lost. Could this not be a two pronged effort. The drug trafficers cause pain to the Mexican people just as they cause pain to the people on this side of the border. While we can not control the bribery of the mexican police, the flow of drugs into Mexico, we can certainly enforce to a greater extent our own laws of entry into the United States.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  277. Barbara Tucson

    Comparing Prohibition to the drug problem is a bust! During Prohibition there were not liquor dealers on street corners and around schools or other places where young people gathered, enticing kids to buy booze. .

    March 25, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  278. Chuck, NW Arkansas

    I have just read over one hundred entries on this subject, and most of them advocate the legalization of marijuana. This one act would greatly reduce the violence, would stop the persecution of American citizens, and provide revenue from a substance which a large amount of Americans use for medicinal purposes, social interaction, and to relax. Marijauna for most people is only comparable to beer without the drunkenness. When are our so-called leaders going to get the message?

    March 25, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  279. the truth

    Make drugs leagal, tax the crap out of them, how simple is that? Anyone who wants them can get them. It won't change a thing being legal, except no more drug lords. No more mafia. No more CIA imports through nafta, and on and on.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  280. Pro Kankakee, IL.

    We are putting a new $10 tax on cigarettes but not drugs, that is down right crazy! We need that money bad these days!

    March 25, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  281. James

    I think the FBI and local law enforcement agencies should do their job, and bust the drug rings, regardless of race, nationality, or creed.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  282. Mike

    Instead of troop buildup at the border or legalization maybe we can call on the executives that were removed from AIG (the ones that really caused the problems) to infiltrate and handle the money for the cartels in our American cities. In short order the cartels will have gone the way of our economy....I think we can all agree that drug dealers don't deserve a bailout.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  283. matt F. Kennewick, WA

    Why Not Legalize marijuana JACK?!?! That would cripple the cartel because we could produce our own majority of the wonderful plant (just like tobacco) and would create just another cash crop for farmers . MORE jobs to tend and harvest these plants would soar. MANY MANY other products will be made from this ONE plant. From Burlap sacksto skin cancer fighting lotions, Jack THis one plant has the GUARNATEE to not only save our economy but would be the catalyst in transforming our ancient government mind-frame ...into more modern (Going GREEN) country.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  284. Jeff

    Steven, your argument that support for legalization comes from apathy, users and those who see an opportunity to exploit them is absurd. First of all, lets talk about exploiting users. A drug dealer growing a pound of marijuana a month can make $2000-$3000 a month tax free. The fact of the matter is that drug dealers do not want drugs legalized, because it would take money from them. If you make the penalty stiffer for dealers, then they dont mind. The price goes up for the ones not getting caught and willing to take the risk. It is a nonsensical argument. I am not a user of any of the drugs, even legal ones. The legality of a drug has not influence on whether or not I use, so all that is left is apathy. I prefer to call it "living in the real world" as opposed to apathy. Prohibition isn't working.
    And if you get rid of the sanctuary cities, and enforce the laws more, and you will still have a massive drug problem with the supply coming from within our own borders. Wake up people!

    March 25, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  285. William Joseph Miller

    You can send all the troops to the border that you please, but unless you address the underlying CAUSE of the Mexican drug cartels, there is no way, I repeat, ABSOLUTELY no way, to stop them.

    First of all, NAFTA has devastated the Mexican Middle Class. Wages in maquiladoras that line the border are abysmal, and the living conditions in communities that surround the maquialdoras, like cancerous tumors, are horrible.

    Secondly, American agribusinesses, subsidized by our government have wiped out many Mexican famers. In addition, global warming is causing massive droughts and water shortages in Mexico, exacerabated by the monopoly that American beverage corporations have on much of Mexcio's water.

    Is it any wonder that drugs and guns offer a "way out" of a life of poverty, misery and despair. I might also add that many drug cartels are gaining popularity in the poorest of the barrios by bribing the local population.

    Again, troops at the border, like every thing that comes out of Lou Dobbs' mouth, is a knee-jerk reaction. To be sure, we need to secure our border – BUT we must address the underlying causes.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  286. mike

    We need to bite the political bullet and call for the legalization of marijuana. The pro's far outweigh the con's. Come on lets stand up for what's right and forget the politics.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  287. Esther , Massillon Ohio

    can't we "just say NO" to drugs what a difference a couple of decades make.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  288. Darren

    Time to build our own "Great Wall" to protect us from the nearly 95% of illegal drugs that come through the Mexican borders.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  289. James Stinson

    If the government has identified 230 cities then you know the real number must be at least 10 times that many.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  290. Jasmine in Germany

    I don't have a problem with legalizing pot, but this would be for the wrong reasons. We've got to get tougher on the crimes and criminals. Rudy Giuliani was effective in cleaning up NYC by making it difficult on the petty criminal. Crime couldn't spread upwards as easily. Obama has to make it clear that there is a new sheriff in town. And Jack, have you looked at the statistics of how many gun outlets there are within an hour of the border? Geez!

    March 25, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  291. Bill Wright

    Treat them as terrorist, hunt them down and if there is any resistance, shoot them. If they give up peacefully, put them on a real chain gang at hard labor for 5 years then air drop them back into Mexico, end of discussion.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  292. ugo A. Lewisville TX

    Jack,the menace the Mexican cartel has posed for America is regrettable and needn't have happened if the politicians manned up to the challenge in times past and not simply thought of their political wellness.It's time America call it a day with these cartels in whatever way is deemed fit!

    March 25, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  293. Mary

    The borders should be closed. Then the pain will be felt by all and then maybe it will get the peoples attention to really do something
    about this problem. We are tired of the dog and pony show.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  294. Scott in Canada

    Prohibition was tried on alcohol in the 1920s. How did that work out?

    March 25, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  295. John Webster, Vancouver Canads

    Simple, just legalize all drugs. No more DEA, no more gang warfare in our streets, fewer customs and more immigration staffing available, no more opium money to the Taliban, more tax revenue, lower crime fighting costs and the list goes on. Our government minions would have lots more dough to play their silly partisan games with. Pity they can’t see the answer.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  296. Rick in Florida

    America needs to stamp out illegal drugs and illegal immigration closely tied to this problem. Formerly good middle class American communities in Florida are now teeming with illegal immigrants and drugs running uncontrolled, expecially after dark. Legalizing illegal drugs and illegal immigrants makes no sense, but that may be what is coming in the larger downfall of a once great society, America is in a state of social and economic sink. Enforce the law.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  297. mike

    We need to grab the political third rail and call for the legalization of marijuana. The pro's far outweigh the con's. Come let's stand up for what's right and forget the politics.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  298. Bob in Indiana

    Jack, the principle of supply vs. demand plays into the foracious appetite the United States has for the drugs being brought accross the border. If the feds (ATF) would legalize the use of drugs and control them the way alcohol sales have been for decades, it most likely would dry up the demand side of the problem.

    We also have millions of people in the prison system within the US for using or selling drugs. Its ridiculous that we are passive about Mexican hoodlums jumping our borders murdering and selling narcotics while we pay billions to house petty thieves in jails.

    The answer is to figure out a way to control substances and sell them like alcohol is sold. Put a heavy use tax on it and raise billions to repair our schools!

    March 25, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  299. Bette Ireland

    I am 84 years old, and have never done drugs, but I believe we should consider legalizing all drugs. By taking the profit away from the drug dealers, and having the government tax and distribute the drugs,we can not only help pay off our national debt, but help the drug addicts overcome their addiction. The drug dealers are only concerned with profits, and will never help anyone kick their drug habit. It worked when we abolished prohibition in the 1930's, when all the bootleggers were out put of business immediately.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  300. Jeff

    Decriminalization does not address the problem of a black market folks. It would still be supplied by the drug lords. Decriminalization would only marginally decrease our problems!

    March 25, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  301. HD in Phoenix, AZ

    People need to get serious about this quit acting like legalizing and taxing drugs will fix the problem. The so called "war on drugs" has been as much of a joke as the "war on terror" as these were simply wars on concepts as opposed to a war on anything. Obama should pull our troops out of Iraq and place them on the border where they should have been after 9/11. Our politicians need to get serious about closing our southern border as well as arresting and deporting these Mexican gangs that distribute the drugs in the USA for these drug cartels.

    HD in Phoenix, AZ

    March 25, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  302. Paul / Charles Town, WV

    It seems to me that the U.S. government needs to go into the business of offering drugs to the users in exchange for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Mexican drug cartel members. And if anyone is caught using drugs purchased from cartels they will be relocated to Mexico and stripped of their U.S. citizenship.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  303. Robert in Ca

    Hi Jack
    Someday commonsense will prevail and we will Legalize pot and the drug cartels cash cow will die! Marijuanna is the recreational drug of choice in this country and millions of americans are using it instead of the american drug cartels tv blitz of socalled FDA approved safe drugs...remember Valium and other so called anti anxiety drugs. Once the cash cow is dead the other hard drugs will be much easier to control. Wake up America pot is here to stay so lets regulate this lessor of evils drug and reap the benefits. The end result will more than justify means. marijuanna is here to stay!

    Keep up the great commentary you are a wise man.

    March 25, 2009 at 4:51 pm |