Friday, April 22, 2011

Border Security and Drugs

Mexico is an amazing country, but it also has a lot of difficult problems. These problems have various causes and there seems to be no easy fixes.

One of the biggest challenges Mexico faces at the current time is the dominance of illegal narco-commerce. It is has become a huge segment of the Mexican economy. The strength of the cartels has challenged the rule of law. The local and federal governments have been unable to get the situation under control. The cartels have become more ruthlessly violent as they compete for control and respond to government attempts to crack down. Regular folks are terrified. Their understandable fear has changed how they live their lives. The culture and the economy of Mexico have both been impacted negatively.

The drug violence tearing Mexico apart and ruining its economy is based on the profitability of supplying the United States’ huge appetite for narcotics. This is the case despite the fact that such substances have been criminalized in our country for decades. This point doesn’t get mentioned enough in American news or our civic discourse. Mexican drug cartels are the main foreign supplier of marijuana and methamphetamines to the American black market. Because of its geography, Mexico is also the main artery for cocaine from South America to enter the United States.

I admit that I have never used any of these drugs and I have no understanding of why anyone would use them. To be very honest, I also have little patience for people who use them.

Nonetheless, I try very hard to integrate Christ’s teachings in my life. I try really hard to not pass judgment on those who use illegal drugs. No one is perfect, and I’m very cognizant that we all sin. Maybe I’ll never smoke pot or do whatever one does with methamphetamines, but I know I have a big ole beam in my own eye and ought not worry about the splinters in the eyes of others.

But it is hypocritical for us Americans to vilify Mexicans fleeing Mexico when our nation’s schizophrenic approach to drugs is causing such devastating harm to our neighbors. Our nation’s appetite for illegal drugs is certainly not the sole cause of all of Mexico’s problems. But we certainly bear some responsibility for the current plight of our neighbor.

I’m frustrated with those who use illegal drugs. And I’m frustrated at the lack of creativity of our policy makers to continue with the same bankrupt policies. It seems to me we either need to find a way to cut our demand and consumption of these toxic substances, or we need to find a way to eliminate the huge profit potential from supplying our nation’s demand for narcotics. The status quo has had a devastating enough impact in our own country, but it puts our neighbor at risk for becoming a narco-state. If my neighbor’s house goes up in flames, my home is also at risk to burn.

Acts 17:30 (GOD’S WORD Translation)

“God overlooked the times when people didn’t know any better. But now he commands everyone everywhere to turn to him and change the way they think and act.

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