Should we listen to former Mexican President Fox and legalize drugs to stop violence in that country?
Vicente Fox, former President of Mexico, is now calling for the legalization of drugs in order to put the criminal gangs that are terrorizing Mexico out of business. Like most advocates of legalization, Fox does not believe that drug use is good or that it isn't harmful to those who use the drugs.
I am well aware that these illegal drugs are harmful and that using them is a self-destructive behavior, as is use of legal drugs such as tobacco, alcohol, and many over-the-counter and prescription drugs. However, I understand that banning even harmful products is not the best way to discourage their use, as that only drives it underground and encourages the formation of criminal gangs to provide these products to the addicts.
If I believed that prohibition actually stopped people from using harmful substances and that it didn't merely cause crime, I would have no problem with it, as I don't think anybody should use these illegal drugs or even many drugs that are currently legal. Instead, the result of drug prohibition has been an increase in crime (especially in Mexico these days), an increase in drug pushing to children, the erosion of civil liberties, tyrannical laws prohibiting the possession of large amounts of cash, and 3 AM drug raids by militarized SWAT teams often of people who don't use or sell drugs.