The Spectacle Blog

Drug Smuggling Battle Heating Up

By on 7.29.09 | 4:58PM

Yesterday, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol seized a half-ton of marijuana in a boat off of the San Diego coast. I did some math on Microsoft Excel -- with the help of an unnamed source who informed me of the market prices in Southern California -- and calculated that this delivery could have yielded close to $6 million in illegal revenue.

The often-repeated justification from pot smokers in California is that their stuff is "home grown,"  but the fact is that our private citizens are helping to fuel a civil war in Mexico by buying their illegal drugs. Revenue for certain cartels can be as high as $200 million per week. Forbes Magazine estimates Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquin Guzman's net worth at $1 billion.  The Secure Fence Act, passed in 2006, approved  700 miles of fence in hot-spot areas. As of today, approximately 661 miles have been built. Since 2006, Mexico's Drug War has killed 12,800 people. The gang violence has spread over into the United States -- Phoenix now ranks second in kidnappings with 700 in this past year. Mexico City ranks first. In light of recent events, it might be time to re-examine whether we should build a fence that stretches all 1900 miles.

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Agent Robert Rosas was killed last week, during a suspected drug smuggling raid near San Diego.  A fence will not keep out all the criminals, as indicated by the fact that the last drug bust was on a boat. However, it seems apparent that Congress should "provide for the Common Defense" quickly in order to prevent our Southwest from descending into chaos. In the meantime, maybe the Che Guevara shirt-wearing pot smokers can stop funding the smugglers by either "saying no to drugs" or at the very least by cultivating their own crops.

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