Saturday, February 19, 2011

Five tons of pot confiscated without a single arrest

You might think, when first reading the headline that the Mexican army confiscated approximately five tons of marijuana in a small town in northern Jalisco without making a single arrest, that this incident is just another example of the impunity that characterizes this nation's judicial system. But read further, and you will discover that much of the pot was handed over voluntarily by the town's 200 residents. The general in charge of the operation was forced to admit that he could not arrest virtually the entire pueblo, and that given the limited economic opportunities in this region, the practice of growing the drug crop was widespread. These farmers ultimately are making the same kind of rational economic decisions that their counterparts in Colombia, Peru and Bolivia (and many other parts of the world) have made, growing the commercial crop, be it pot, poppy, or coca, that holds the best promise of allowing their families to overcome the vicious poverty of subsistence agriculture. Are they criminals? That's a tough call, given their choices.

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