By Christopher B. Kuch, PhD
February 9, 2016
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that most of our illegal drugs are coming into our country by land and across the southern border. The Border Patrol, Customs, and DEA agents are far overstretched on this front line. Increasing agents can be costly, but one approach has already been suggested by using the military*1. The vast majority of drugs that come over are quantities of marijuana. The drug lords in Mexico and farther south, make millions every day and week or more.
This article suggests giving the Mexican government and other countries in Central America licenses for drug lords to legally produce hemp for the U.S. Afterwards for marijuana for medical purposes or importing into our states that allow recreational use. The later would require our federal government to enact legislation approving this measure. But the tax revenues would increase and drug trafficking violence would be greatly reduced. Thus, weighing the scales in favor of this proposal surely tilt to the greater good for our country.
Hemp would be a benefit for our society as it has so many valuable “clean green” uses and non drug use with little or no THC. It would take a few years of debates and coordination between governments, but it could be accomplished. Look at the tax revenues generated in Colorado, Washington, and Alaska so far. Also, there is the increase in jobs related to the sale of this narcotic. Today 23 states allow the use of medical marijuana. Then look at the reduction in illegal sales dropping in those states, resulting in a huge reduction in prosecution and incarceration costs. Concerning marijuana, there is no evidence to suggest an increase in marijuana use in those states*2 (CNN).
This article in no way supports or encourages the use of marijuana, but some states have decided to make it legal. In the states that it is illegal, people are still buying it and using it. We need to put our resources on hard drugs and face the fact that we lost the war on marijuana. Most of us will continue to just drink beer but why should we put our legal preference on alcohol that has a devastating negative social consequence, than on the passive consequence of “pot.”
Beneficial Uses of Hemp and Marijuana
Manufacturing into rope
Manufacturing into paper
Manufacturing into wood like products
Manufactured into textiles
Extracting hemp oil for use
Used in cosmetics
Relief of pain associated with chemo-therapy
Relief of pain from glaucoma
Back pain relief
Relief of pain from severe migraines, cramps, etc.
Meeting with Central American Governments should be done under the direction of our next president because this president has alienated the congress and extremely divided the country. He or she should send the Deputy Director of the DEA and someone from the commerce department to meet with their counterparts in Mexico City. All Central American countries should come along with Columbia. There they can discuss the goals, legal ramifications, and benefits of this proposal. During that time they can also develop a list of know lessor drug lords to make contact with by third parties.
The key to making this a success is to focus on the tax revenues that will be generated along with freeing up police and armed forces personnel to shift their attention to other high profile dangerous drugs and other issues. Such as heroin, cocaine, gun trafficking, and illegal immigrants. Also at this meeting, radical Muslim extremist terrorists can be discussed to start to think about future attacks from them. They are coming as more and more Islamist extremists travel to their countries and filter into ours.
After the meetings the attendees will return to their countries for more consultations and legal debates. These all might have different outcomes, but if a general acceptance occurs we can move on to the next stage. Even if only Mexico agrees to this plan we can work with the Mexicans alone. They are not doing anything but sipping on tequila and eating tacos.
Debates in Congress
For us the most difficult step will be to agree in congress about legislation approving this plan. No doubt it will meet with stiff resistance, but even so, we have laid the foundation for future acceptance. The current bunch of constantly campaigning members of congress will never approve such legislation. But if they emphasize the use of hemp in medicine, building materials, paper, etc., we might get a beginning shift in hemp and marijuana laws. Still, we might have to wait until we get a new congress and definitely a replacement for our “empirical ruler of the oval office.”
This idea, concept, strategy, or plan might take 2 or 3 presidents later to approve. Yet, it will happen in some form or another. Again look at the war on marijuana a mere twenty years ago. Consider our stance on the concept of what is a legal marriage then. Remember when tobacco was sponsoring sports events? Things change and so do our laws and social beliefs. Marijuana social and political views have already begun an unmistakable and unstoppable trend towards acceptance. Hemp has been accepted for a very long time in many countries and was once used extensively in the US in building materials. We can import it sometimes but not grow it— a silly but typical Washington, D.C. failed legislation.
Meeting with the Drug Lords in a Neutral Country
What better place than to meet in Cuba with representatives of America (some low ranking bureaucrat) other countries leaders, and the drug lords? Yes, that’s right Cuba. No guns and a public agreement that no one will be arrested during this meeting. The drug lords will probably have some “dude” they paid to go there to ascertain if this was real. But the point is to discuss this and offer the dealers a chance in the future to continue to sell their marijuana legally along with hemp. Moreover, to stress that switching to hemp might bring about the same income with less risks of them being killed by the police and other crime organizations.
Perhaps we might attempt to discuss this plan with not so famous international drug dealers that haven’t been proven to have killed people at first. We can stress that switching to hemp might bring about the same income with less risk of them being killed or put in jail. Larger drug kingpins can sit back and see how it goes before they get involved. Afterwards they can cut deals with the governments for amnesty. In the past we have forgiven the NAZI’s, Kaddafi, and other dictators to get something in return. Since it is in Cuba, and we don’t have an extradition agreement with them, they might be more convinced to attend or send some representative.
Tentative Agreement with Everyone
All attendees return to their countries to hammer out the legal steps necessary to permit former drug lords to legally produce and ship hemp and or marijuana. Once that is done we hold an international conference again with each member country involved and forge out the control mechanism assuring quality and tax rates. There might be further unforeseen issues that need to be resolved. However, in the end all countries meet and sign a formal final agreement.
After this the former drug lords can apply for permits to produce marijuana and or hemp under government auspices. Licenses can be issued and agencies can be developed for inspection. Security concerns and safety issues must be in place to prevent “pot thievery” from the pot/hemp farms. And no, the drug lords can’t whack someone who swiped a bud from the field. They must work with the police or perhaps army to protect the crops. Their country has an interest in huge tax revenues.
It might seem light years away when former criminals would be allowed to continue what they were doing illegally, but consider marijuana use and sales in Washington State, Alaska, and Colorado. Who would have ever thought that this would happen a mere twenty years ago? Now it is just a question of; who can make and sale it, while others cannot. It’s the same arbitrary laws governing alcohol purchase and consumptions for teenagers. Europe doesn’t have our kind of problems with teen age drinking. It is because of their culture and socialization at an early age about modest consumption. I’m not talking about DUI, but rather the can of beer at the high school football game.
The incentive for drug lords is not to stop producing marijuana and selling it, but rather switching to hemp production first. Afterwards, growing marijuana--after it has become legal to grow. Then the governments can control, inspect, and tax it. The drug lords might consider going legit if it were legal and they could continue to conduct their business. The major hurdles are to convince drug lords to switch over to legal production and sales. This can only be done by their governments giving them amnesty and permission. After that, it is to convince our congress and next president to take a bold step forward.
This might seem too difficult, but in twenty years we might be thinking why we ever tried to stop people from smoking pot. Also, why we didn’t bring back hemp use in the U.S. on a large scale movement a long time ago. After all, it is environmentally clean and easy to grow. This would make those on the far left happy and smiling. A federal tax on it would bring an additional massive income which can be used for concentrated enforcement on hard drugs, importing weapons, and illegal immigrants coming in. We can still chop down trees in Canada and replant them like we have been doing for years for rolling papers.
*1. Kuch, Christopher B. “Closing Foreign Military Bases and Deputizing Soldiers as Border Patrol Agents.” Law Enforcement Today. September 13, 2015.
*2. CNN “23 States Allow Medical Marijuana.” Broadcast January 12, 2016.
Dr. Kuch holds a PhD, MA, and MS in criminal justice. He has written about a variety of federal police issues. His current research is about preventative terrorism policies. He was Deputy Sheriff in Ohio. He lives in Istanbul, Turkey and is on the adjunct faculty at Galatasaray University.