Decriminalization Now 3: A Former Kingpin's Third Capture
The Recapture (Again)
Sensationalism and gratification run at all-time highs when a problematic former drug kingpin goes back into police custody for the third time. Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán “El Chapo” Loera’s recapture only illustrates the absolute ridiculous nature of the “War on Drugs.” By hoping to retain this thug again, the Mexican government is now focused on keeping a lifetime criminal behind bars. After eluding the authorities on two separate occasions, Guzmán has only added to his own legend. If it weren’t for the charges of murder, the alleged billionaire would only be in marginal ethical standing. The charges of drug trafficking would not exist in a fully free society. Though immoral and shady, the drug business would not be as bloody and savage as it is today. Guzmán’s exploits would be seen as the trials and travails of a legitimate entrepreneur with an unethical profession. Now a name to be passed down through generations for his evasions and dealings with the seedy underbelly of the Latin world, Guzmán will forever be a figure who sought freedom but forfeited the chance to be completely free.
Mexico's 'Catch Me If You Can'
As the shining city on a the hill, America should do away with the drug laws currently in place. With the recognition of the right to produce, manufacture, distribute, sell, and consume today’s illicit substances, nations like Colombia and Mexico would follow suit. The withdrawal of all drug laws would institute a greater respect for the liberties of individuals. Criminals like Guzmán would no longer be prosecuted because the trade of drugs would be permitted and they would no longer be looked at as criminals. And all of the murders committed on behalf of the drug game would be nil. The consideration of the right to trade value for value would open up the market to lawful interactions. Each produced gram of cocaine or ounce of methamphetamine traded above the table would engender a sense of legitimacy. Instead of having outlaws engage in cat-and-mouse games with the authorities, the world would open up to businessmen and women who would profit from their efforts without being constrained by stupid laws and regulations. Now, the question of morality will play a part only in the social sense. The government would play no role in acting as Father State and Mother Federal in addressing whether a person should build, sell, snort, smoke, swallow, dissolve, chew, inject, or any other action related to drugs. All the arrest of Guzmán will do is to create increased fervor for keeping drugs illegal. That is a tragedy. All one has to do is observe the vicious cycle of beheadings, maimings, mindless shootings, and all kinds of other mayhem which has arisen since the ban of illicit substances. And everybody screams for the legalization of marijuana and to tax it in virtually every way possible. But why not heroin? Why not ecstasy? Such substances should be thought of as being legal as they represent the rights of an individual to do as he pleases, so long as he does not interfere with the life and well-being of others. It is in cases like Guzmán’s that he should appeal his case as a trafficker and focus on the decriminalization of all drugs on the grounds that this decree would mean the advocacy of individual rights. For all the homicides and thefts and extortions and bribes and underhandedness associated with the drug trade, all of these occurrences would be eliminated. Because of the machinations of the market, the actions of drug creators, dealers, and users would resemble the Fortune 500 companies in the United States.
A Different sort of Custody Battle
In true American fashion, the selfish, greedy pursuit of the dollar would energize young minds to develop new ways to combat addiction. Individuals would generate profits based on the care and facilities they would supply to those hooked on a given drug. While Guzmán may be vilified for the murders he committed (or ordered), the fact that he pushed a product desired by so many ought to serve as an immoral matter as well, just not as bad in relation to degree. But as far as the law is concerned, a figure such as Guzmán ought to have been left alone.