According to Vice President Biden, drug legalization in the United States is not in the cards. Last week, Biden addressed leaders of Latin America, who are debating this question right now, and reaffirmed that the U.S. would oppose the legalization of illicit drugs. Biden acknowledged that discussion on legalization would be welcomed, but in the end, “there are more problems with legalization than with nonlegalization.”
Currently, Portugal is the only country in the world that has actually decriminalized drug use. In Latin America, leaders are seeking out their options to address the ongoing violence and corruption intertwined with the drug trade and illegal drug consumption. Mexico’s president, Felipe Calderón, advised that the United States should seek out these “market alternatives” as well – in other words, the legalization of illicit drugs. One of the frontrunners in the race to legalization is Guatemala, as the new president, Otto Pérez Molina, stated that he would call for the legalization of drugs at a meeting with other Central American leaders. Again, Guatemala, like many other nations, is arguably considering legalization in order to address organized crime and violence or strategically placing itself in a position to garner greater antidrug aid.
What are your thoughts on drug legalization? Could legalization mean the end to corruption, smuggling, and violence if drugs have a solidified marketplace? Could legalization grant more power to established drug cartels, thus encouraging even more of a power struggle? Why now? Why not?