Failure of the War on Drugs

In the U.S. the number of people over 12 years old who use drugs increased from 5.8% in 1991-93 to 8.9% in 2008. In Mexico the war on drugs has killed over 50,000 people over the past 5 years.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Juan Carlos Hidalgo wrote an article for in February 2012. His approach, denouncing the harmful effects of drug prohibition, was based on a proposal by the President of Guatemala, Otto Perez Molina, to legalize drugs as a means to combat drug trafficking.

The submission to the Parliament of Uruguay of a proposal to legalize marijuana consumption revives an issue which Central Americans should hurt more than what we've shown, given the terrible cost in human life and development that the drug war taking place in our countries produces.

"According to the latest National Assessment on the Drug Threat 2011 by the Department of Justice," the abuse of several major illicit drugs, including heroin, marijuana and methamphetamine, appears to be increasing, especially among young people. "There is no doubt that the ban has not stopped the use of illicit substances in the major world market. "

"Drug prohibition drug has made trafficking an extremely profitable business. This is because the price of an illegal substance is determined more by the cost of distribution than the cost of production.

For example, in the case of cocaine, the price of coca leaf in the field and what a consumer pays on American streets for the white powder increases by more than 100 times. Depending on the drug, 90% or more of the retail price of the drug corresponds to the premium generated by the ban. For this reason, the profit margins of drug cartels are enormous. According to UN figures, global trade in narcotics totals $320,000 million a year.

More on this topic

Business, Marketing and Drug Trafficking

March 2016

The complexity of drug cartels' internal structures, their strategies of "marketing and customer service" and the way they operate increasingly resemble those of large global corporations.

How are the Coca-Cola and McDonald's corporations similar to drugs cartels? Of course the products they sell are completely different, but the way the three try to position their products and brands, increase their market share and increase profits to generate more dividends to their shareholders, is almost the same.

Einstein and Drug Trafficking

November 2015

Central America's fall into the hands of drug traffickers makes the following quote seem true: "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."


Although their rulers deny it, Central American countries are losing the war against drug traffickers.

Eventually the U.S. Will Legalize Marijuana

July 2014

Sooner or later, the growing momentum in all of the States of the Union to legalize marijuana will motivate the federal government to remove the ban on its use.


As noted by Juan Carlos Hidalgo on his blog on "... Today, after more than 40 years of continuous failures, we are witnessing the collapse of the international drug war, which has cost the continent hundreds of billions of dollars and tens of thousands of lives."

Why Not Export Marijuana to Where it is Legal?

June 2014

"If the consumption of a product is legal, so is its trade." Although the Guatemalan proposal to free up export of of the drug will surely kick up some dust, its logic is unassailable.


The legalization of marijuana in Uruguay and the U.S. states of Colorado and Washington has opened a door for a proposal by Guatemala to legalize its production and export.

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