Mexico Drug Wars Will Not End With Legalizing Marijuana or Cracking Down on Mexico Cartels

After Enrique Pena Nieto officially won the Mexican presidency on Friday, ABC World News Now argued that the U.S.'s demand for illegal drugs has spurred the violent drug wars in Mexico. This high demand is caused by high amounts of poverty, due to a lack of support for small businesses.

To begin winning the war on drugs, the U.S. government should develop plans to support entrepreneurship and small businesses among poor people. The best method to accomplish this goal is to train people to be entrepreneurs and small businesses owners, and then help them finance these businesses.

The recession has left many people who were already poor even poorer. Unemployment remains high. People cannot find jobs or start their own small businesses to help themselves and their communities. Most poor people have bad credit and little capital and cannot get the loans they need to start a business. To worsen the situation, the weak economy makes investors uncertain about providing loans.

This environment creates immense poverty that leaves few alternatives and creates a high demand for drugs. This high demand funds drug cartels’ bribes, which enable public officials in Mexico to support drug trafficking.

An entrepreneurship training program that provides legal and financial assistance after completion would lessen the poverty that causes drug-related problems. Poor people need access to loans. This program would accept applicants based on a concrete business plan and character reference instead of credit history and financial means.

After the completion of the training program, people with little money would receive financial help to start a small business. Unlike the policy former President Clinton implemented in 1993 which granted home loans easier, but contributed to the 2008 financial meltdown, this policy would not repeat history. The government would back and lend banks the money. The government would also prohibit banks from profiting off of defaults.

Many conservatives argue that lowering taxes would help small businesses more than financing these businesses with government loans that require higher taxes. Conservatives believe lower taxes will save businesses more money to provide employment to the community instead of raising taxes to sponsor such programs as this. But this policy only helps businesses that are already functioning. It does not help businesses that need start-up support.

Instead of trying to solve the demand side of the drug problem in the U.S., some argue for trying to resolve the supply side of drug trafficking. These people advocate for legalizing drugs to increase supply and decrease price. But legalizing drugs would only increase demand.

An entrepreneurship training program would lessen the demand for drugs and funding for cartels. With funding sources cut, the only real obstacle to ending Mexican drug cartels remains state corruption.

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Jacinda Chan

Jacinda graduated from University of California, Berkeley with a dual bachelor's degree in rhetoric and political science. She is currently pursuing a masters in international criminal justice at the University of Portsmouth. She is fluent in German. Since then, she has done various research and writing internships covering Turkish politics at the Diplomatic Courier, writing reports on legal systems in the Middle East, and researching the entire human rights history of Iran and Egypt. At the Levin Institute, she wrote news analysis about human rights in Latin America.

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