Congratulations to Ernesto Zedillo and Haynie Wheeler for their new edited e-book on drug policy and the U.S.-Mexico relationship (available for free on line here). The volume gives a range of perspectives from participants at a meeting at the Yale Center for the Study of Globalisation, which Mark Kleiman and I were privileged to attend. A few quotes to whet your appetite:
Former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo:
The reaction to that initial disruption in the relationship between the two countries resulting from the “war on drugs” was just the beginning of a complex story of cooperation and sometimes confrontation on this problem between Mexico and the United States that has proven to be very costly for the two sides.
Professor Daniel Mejia:
The results of anti-drug policies implemented under Plan Colombia are mixed. The number of hectares of land cultivated with coca crops decreased rapidly between 2000 and 2003, from about 160,000 hectares to 80,000 hectares. Nevertheless, since 2003 the number of hectares cultivated with coca crops has remained relatively stable at around 82,000 hectares per year.
Professor Peter Reuter:
I do not think that legalization, other than for marijuana, is a useful topic for policy research. Since I spent 10 years working on the topic, I say that with some pain.
Sr. Eduardo Guerrero Gutierrez:
Since December 2006 —when Felipe Calderon took the oath as President of Mexico and launched a full-fledged surge against organized crime — there has been a steady increase in the number of organized crime-related deaths. If the current trend continues, by the end of President Calderon’s six-year term in 2012 the figure will reach 64,000 organized crime-related deaths.
Enjoy, debate, discuss etc.