Napolitano defends Drug War; Costa Rica breaking ranks?

US Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano on Feb. 28 defended the US-backed war on the drug cartels, despite the growing violence in Mexico and Central America. On a five-day tour of the region, Napolitano insisted in a joint press conference with Mexican Interior Minister Alejandro Poire that the US and Mexico would maintain “a continuing effort to keep our peoples from becoming addicted to dangerous drugs…. It’s a different type of crime and it’s a different type of plague, but that’s also why it is so important that we act not only bi-nationally, but in a regional way, to go after the supply of illegal narcotics.”

Napolitano also compared the case of Mexico’s most wanted kingpin, Joaquín Guzmán AKA “El Chapo” (Sinaloa Cartel), with that of Osama bin Laden. “It took us 10 years to find Osama bin Laden and we found him. And you know what happened there; I’m not suggesting the same thing would happen with Guzman but I am suggesting that we are persistent when it comes to wrongdoers and those who do harm in both of our countries,” she said. (RTT News, Feb. 28)

But a day after meeting with Napolitano in San José, Costa Rica‘s President Laura Chinchilla publicly weighed in for opening a discussion on drug legalization as an alternative to the current policy. “If we keep doing what we have been when the results today are worse than 10 years ago, we’ll never get anywhere and could wind up like Mexico or Colombia,” Chinchilla said . She said there needs to be a “serious” discussion of legalization even if the US opposes it, because Central American nations are “paying a very high price” and “we have the right to discuss it.”

Chinchilla joins Guatemala’s President Otto Pérez Molina, generally a right-wing hardliner who was elected on an anti-crime platform, in calling for a regional discussion on legalization. Pérez Molina said last month that he was open to legalizing to undermine the control of Mexican cartels operating in Central America. However, Honduras‘ President Porfirio Lobo dissented, saying legalization would make his country “a paradise” for drug traffickers. Nicaragua‘s President Daniel Ortega has not taken a position one way or the other, but said in January that as long the US “continues to fail to control the consumption of drugs, it continues to contaminate and poison this region.” Last month, Mexican Foreign Relations Secretary Patricia Espinosa said her government was open to an international discussion of drug legalization. But, like Chinchilla, she was quick to caution that legalization wouldn’t mean the defeat of organized crime.

In its annual report, released just as Napolitano arrived in the region, the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) warned that trafficking levels in Central America have reached “alarming and unprecedented” heights, and that cocaine being transshipped through the region may be worth as much as 5% of the region’s gross domestic product. (Drug War Chronicle, March 2)

The Cabinet in Belize is preparing to review a study paper on legalization submitted by the country’s Public Safety Ministry.

See our last posts on the drug war, Central America and the remilitarization of the isthmus.


  1. Costa Rica has the right idea. Become a vacation spot?
    The “War on Drugs” as it relates to marijuana is a fool’s errand. Legalizing marijuana would solve many current problems and actually create some benefits for the public good. Certainly the current way the government deals with this problem only prolongs the problem.

    Marijuana never should have been included on the list of dangerous drugs. Marijuana isn’t dangerous, and it isn’t a feeder drug. I believe the La Guardia Committee Report made a clear case on the harmlessness of marijuana and exposed the blatant propagandized lies. Everyone knows how wrongfully propagandized, distorted, and racially motivated the law enforcement efforts were in the America’s anti-marijuana campaign. Harry Anslinger was an ambitious, lying, and deceitful man with a bureaucrat’s interest in the slander and disinformation of marijuana. Other organized interests were against hemp as a resource: Logging wanted to capture the paper industry; cotton growers and synthetic cloth manufactures, such as DuPont, were also to blame for this inclusion while trying to eliminate hemp fiber competition. Today it is big pharma, liquor, tobacco, DEA & Justice Dept., & prison for profit companies protecting their rice bowls that keep up the ignorance of this war on cannabis.

    Legalizing marijuana would:
    -Cause the black market in marijuana to be gone, along with the violence related to it. You can’t beat that.
    -All of the marijuana money going south would stop, and remain here to be spent legally in our own economy. That is 60% of a cartel’s income. Losing that would be a serious blow to these groups.
    -Law enforcement, judicial, and incarceration expenditures of public funds for this would no longer be needed- Free the people.
    -The growing on and damaging of public lands would end, as people would rather grow it at home, ending the illegal cartels involvement.
    -People with medical needs would be able to seek some small comfort there.
    – (IMO) A decrease in drunk driving statistics would occur. People would soon realize that they enjoy marijuana more than the oncoming sickness of drinking, thus the non alcoholic would drink less, and be safer to the public concern overall.

    Another very important factor: Legalizing marijuana would allow for the acceptance of a large group of productive and responsible American citizens who only differ from everyone else in one intelligent way: they intuitively prefer thought stimulating marijuana to the dangerous sloppiness and oncoming sickness of drinking.

    Liquor lobbyists and the pharmaceutical companies would fight against legalization of marijuana for their self preservation reasons, as would the DEA. The DEA is a major recipient in the forfeiture of assets game, and they love the power they have, and they, along with the prison guards, and Wackenhut, want to remain fully staffed and budgeted.
    Let me stress that marijuana is safer and more enjoyable then liquor. Liquor companies know this, but do not want the public to adapt and adopt a safer smarter way. I’m no expert but, if people self medicated with marijuana wouldn’t that reduce the need for Zoloft and a dozen other mood drugs? Certainly there is little better with coming to grips with PTSD than the herbal remedy.

    The government’s issue is: Who will grow it and sell it? How do we manage it? How do we tax it? How can we monopolize it, diminish it‘s quality, and tax it for as much as we can get away with? Those are greedy selfish interests, and as usual the government should leave it alone and stop looking at things in that self serving manner. The government needs to stop playing omnipotent God. In most cases government regulation creates more problems than it solves.
    Some of this issue is a 10th Amendment issue relating to federal rights verses states rights, and the people’s rights. In California marijuana advocates were willing to let the government camel’s nose into the tent tempting them with tax revenue. Do you want your government in vice control for greed and profit? Letting the government into the equation is a mistake, because it is in their nature to monopolize at the people’s expense.

    I propose that American citizens, of legal age, be allowed to “grow their own”. If every citizen of age that desired could grow say 12 mature plants for personal use, then all illegal black markets would dry up. The surplus would cause marijuana to not have much monetary value.

    One economic plus for my proposal is that good citizens who enjoy marijuana are a smart proud group of sociable people and will invest money into growing supplies. Your average proud grower will invest a few hundred dollars, or more, in the domestic economy to be able to properly grow, and show off, their little crop. This expenditure times 22 million people and you have a major boost in our economy, instead of the current hemorrhage of funds going to illegal drug lords, and the ugliness that comes with that.

    In conclusion: the current way the government deals with marijuana only prolongs the problem. If profit is to be made a black market will always exist. It is high time Americans stood up for freedom and demanded these repressive marijuana laws be changed, ending decades of unjust persecution. Give marijuana back to the people and freedom and liberty itself will turn what was an ugly problem into a favorable outcome.
    I can not get on a soap box and argue the merit of other drugs, but as far as marijuana I will defend it and speak my peace as a freedom loving American.
    “Make the most you can of the Indian hemp seed, and sow it everywhere!”
    George Washington (1794)
    The Writings of George Washington, Volume 33, page 270 (Library of Congress)
    “Two of my favorite things are sitting on my front porch smoking a pipe of sweet hemp, and playing my Hohner harmonica.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

      1. Free Speech Policy – The World War 4 Report version
        I am always skeptical of blogs or websites that “moderate” the postings. It is interesting that the media screams free speech yet wants to censor the posting on the very same medium they scream for free speech to produce.

        The only just censorship is the right of an individual not to read something they do not like or agree with.

        I have listed below some reader feed back that you have encouraged.

        Free Speech Policy

        World War 4 Report has five minimum standards for approving posts.

        1. Your post should be no longer than the article you are responding to.

        Interesting attempt to censor what could be a well thought out and detailed argument.

        2. Your post should be original, and not a standardized cut-and-paste job. If your screed has already been posted verbatim on other websites, it will not be approved. Also, merely posting a link with no (or minimal) commentary does not count as “original.”

        Interesting considering every copy of a book, magazine, and view of a website and blog are equivalent to a cut and paste of the original. Additionally, this rule is an attempt to censor and control the education of the community politic.

        3. Your post should be reasonably literate. If you can’t take the time to write “to” instead of “2,” what you have to say can’t be that important. Writing in ALL CAPS does not help to make your point.

        So the concerns and opinions of a person of lesser literary talent are of no value or consequence? You are discriminating and censoring.

        4. Your post should have some political and/or factual content. Rough-housing is fine, but it isn’t a substitute for argument.

        Are we to understand that what may be political and/or factual in content to us may not be the same to you? Are you expecting source notes at the bottom of the posts? Are you the authority on what is political and factual?

        5. Hate speech (excessive vulgarity, ethnic slurs, overt threats, etc.) will not be tolerated.

        Let the community regulate this. That is what a free society does.

        Here is a typical example of the kind of post we will not approve. Here is another.

        Stereotyping is never a good rule for measurement.

        Ignorance and malarky will not be censored, but will be subject to rigorous ridicule and repudiation.

        It would be interesting to know how you would measure this and how you would qualify malarkey. Which do you suppose is of more value to society, rigorous ridicule and repudiation or educating? As a note, your spelling of malarky is slang. It would appear that slang would not be literate pursuant your rule #3. Are you indicating that it is reasonably literate or the rules do not apply to you?

        If you don’t give your post a relevant title, we will give it one.

        Thank you. It can happen and your help is very much appreciated.

        Finally: We have an approval queue. If your post does not appear immediately, do not post it again. Just wait.

        It would be wise to enter this information next to the “Post” button.

        We encourage reader feedback, but please abide by these standards.

        It would appear this may be true as long as the posts are what you want to hear.

          1. deleted comments
            The following comments were mysteriously deleted from this page. We have restored them here, finding them in a search engine cache. Not sure what happened…

            Blocking Spam Is Easy And Doesn’t Require A Monitor
            Submitted by TheGardenMaster (not verified) on Sun, 03/04/2012 – 00:44.
            There are very good software programs that will block the spam and foul posts you speak of without requiring every post to be monitored.

            I had though that this was a forum that was interested in intelligent and informed factual based conversation and debate. Was I misled?

            Your response to my inquiry, which you solicited, is; if you don’t like it take a hike? Maybe this is why there are very few comments in this forum.

            Maybe consider guiding your forum through intelligent and informed factual based conversation and debate instead of verbal attacks, ultimatums and threats.

            As for me, I would like to stay. This is like a vacation compared to third world ag ministers and diplomats. I think together we can make a positive influenced on people. I have never met you, but I am sure you are probably a descent guy. Have a good evening Mr. Weinberg.

            Is the value of our advertising traffic based?

            »

            Are you volunteering to find and install the software?
            Submitted by Bill Weinberg on Sun, 03/04/2012 – 03:35.
            If so, please contact us. If not, go away. You have now officially become Tiresome.

            The only “threat” I have made is to delete spam and trolling, which is a public service.

  2. How drugs could be regulated in the real world
    Transform’s outstanding book titled, After the War on Drugs: Blueprints for Regulation, provides specific proposals for how drugs could be regulated in the real world.

    The book is available for free online. If you would like to read it then here it is: http://www.tdpf.org.uk/blueprint%20download.htm

    It doesn’t take much imagination to realize that most of the ‘at present prohibited’ (available 24/7 at a dealer near you) drugs are derived from fast growing weeds like the cannabis plant, the poppy and the coca bush. These can all be cultivated legally and easily in many different regions on our planet without the aid of terrorist organizations.

  3. Drug Cartels
    I think the drug lords have tunnel vision and are unable to see the bigger picture. They do not understand the true power of hi-tech agriculture in finance and how it can support, employ and feed the people.
    It is interesting that there is all of this time, money, hatred and killing invested in the drug war when you can raise produce and herbs in a specialized growing system and generate near as good of a return as raising marijuana or cocaine. The demand for locally grown produce and herbs in every part of the world is greater than marijuana and cocaine. It cost me 600k to setup every acre on this system and I have my cost back plus a healthy premium at the end of the first year. See thegardenmaster dot com. No wars, no armies, no killing, no prison, no hiding and no cross country distribution and no drug enforcement costs to the people. It employs people, it feeds people and it reduces our tax exposure. Cash in and cash out year-round. They could be the heroes of the people instead of the enemies of the people. thegardenmasterqc@gmail.com Google The Garden Master

    1. More deleted comments
      Spam Cartels
      Submitted by Bill Weinberg on Sat, 03/03/2012 – 19:30.
      You are obviously are trying to drum up business for your commercial enterprise here, but we’ll let you get away with it because you almost make a valid point. The two things you fail to factor in are:

      1. Marijuana and cocaine are illegal, which drives up the price, making it impossible for legal crops to compete;

      2. Free-trade policies favor the ag-biz giants, again making it impossible for the small producer to compete.

      Techno-fixes won’t work. We need an end to the “drug war,” and a restoration of human-scale economics.

      »

      Hytech Farming Can Replace Drug
      Submitted by TheGardenMaster (not verified) on Sat, 03/03/2012 – 20:11.
      Because you missed it, the point of the post is this:
      1. People are killing people for money because the product they grow is illegal.
      2. Replace the illegal product with a product that is legal and equivalent in income and you feed the malnourished and starving people, you employ people and you eliminate the killing.
      3. They and many others obviously do not understand this so they need to be informed that someone is out there to help them.

      I hope this helps you to better understand the point.

      25% of the population of Mexico does not have access to basic food, which is roughly 20 million people or $23.4 billions worth. 728,909 children in Mexico under the age of 5 in October of 2011 were malnourished. 85,000 people starve to death each year. 2 million farmers have been forced off their land do to government policy changes. Mexico imports 33% of its food consumption or 13 million tons or $24 billion.

      Now that is a total of $47.4 billion in just basic food needs that can be raised in Mexico. My farm system produces over 260 tons per acre and provides 3 grocery store chains 60% of their produce rack, which is 90% of the produce department’s gross income. I have been doing this for 40 years.

      The need and the demand are there and can be fulfilled with the redirection of focus.

      Furthermore, the cost or value of a product does not dictate its legality.

      »

      On What Information Do You Base Your Assumption?
      Submitted by TheGardenMaster (not verified) on Sat, 03/03/2012 – 20:20.
      I am always amazed at the shortsightedness of a few and their self-imposed definition of spam. If you are not-for-profit, help people feed themselves and help build sustainable communities and show people a better way you are spamming. However, if you sit back make assumption, take unfounded shots at other posters, bring a negative aurora to the blog, regurgitate goggled searches that you fundamentally don’t understand and gossip you are a what…? How do you better the community with your posts?

      In regards to paragraph 2 & 3.

      An agri-business mono-cropping system will always be less productive than a high density multi-inter-cropping system. It is the growing system that dictates both the production and the nutritional value of the produce. However, if you were to value production in a mono-cropping system based on nutritional content, the organic farm would produce more dollars per square foot of production. When comparing the production of a momo-cropping system to a high density multi-inter-cropping system the conventional produce will not even come close on either product by pounds per square foot or nutritional value per square foot. The mono-mentality corporate farm and the USDA and many others are trying to compare organic production to conventional production within a conventional production paradigm. This approach is like pounding a round peg into a square hole. These are two different growing system paradigms. A true test is to allow both systems to compete with one constant, the same square feet or acres of growing area. They then can compete on efficient use of natural recourses (or footprint), production in lbs., production in nutritional value, production in net dollars, appearance and economic community support. You are talking to someone who has been doing it for over 40 years and providing sixty percent of the produce rack in three large grocery store chains.

      »

      Bettering which community?
      Submitted by Bill Weinberg on Sat, 03/03/2012 – 21:54.
      The community that reads this blog? By providing information and intellectual clarity, thanks.

      Please indicate where on your website it says you are not-for-profit. You are a dot-com, and selling a bucket-gardening system.

      The dynamics of capitalism have little to do with nutritional value per square foot. From that perspective, you can’t get worse than coffee, beef, bananas, carnations, cannabis, opium or coca leaf. Yet those sectors are all booming, while indigenous growers of maize and beans can’t make it in Central America. You think you can solve this with your bucket-gardening system? Good luck.

      »

      Confused
      Submitted by TheGardenMaster (not verified) on Sun, 03/04/2012 – 00:15.
      I believe you are confused. The Bucket Garden is a family garden not our commercial operation. We took the commercial system and re-engineered it to a size that can support a family with their daily nutritional needs in addition to long term food storage. The crops you mention are not staple crops necessarily for survival. Additionally, they do not support the families in the area or country. The companies that grow those crops do not provide enough income to the families they employ to provide for their basic food needs, even when the entire families work. In order to help the people in the counties like this you need to teach them to be self sufficient on the family level. The money and the products are exported and the return to the people isn’t enough to purchase the imports to feed them. Prior to NAFTA this wasn’t near the problem that it is today.

      The maize and bean crops are failing because they were commercialized with the mono crop system that has been incorporated and demanded by the World Monetary Fund and the World Bank. They are also owned and/or operated by companies in the developed countries like the US and England. They have been prostituted. Furthermore, the dynamics of capitalization is not a bad thing. It is the motive of the individuals pushing the dynamics.

      All the proceeds from the Bucket Gardens go back into our volunteer program that installs free of charge gardens for widows, widowers, single parent families, inner city programs, homeless programs and wayward children and adult programs. No one makes a dime from the Bucket Gardens. We do not do this for a tax advantage. We are more interested in the welfare and success of the communities. Thus, we are a not-for-profit company. Additionally, we are a partner with Arizona Project Challenge under the National Guard and the Arizona Volunteers Foundation, both of which are 501c3 companies. You do understand that a 501c3 is nothing more than an IRS election. Of course our over 25,000 members world wide know this.

      Yes we can solve the problem with both the Bucket Garden system and my commercial system, which by the way is for profit. We have been doing it for years. What we do improves every community, including your’s.

  4. Who cares what Napolitano says about marijuana?
    What does Napolitano know about marijuana? Did she smoke it in the dorm at college? Maybe she had a boy friend who smoked pot and dumped her. Whatever the reason, who cares what she says on the topic of marijuana?