According to this complaint, a Border Patrol agent was fired for saying to a colleague in a private conversation that “the legalization of drugs would end the drug war and related violence in Mexico.” This along with his expression of pride in his Mexican heritage, was taken to be “contrary … to patriotism, dedication, and esprit de corps” and therefore grounds for termination.
All I can say is, “Huh?”
If selling cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine were made legal, there would be no illegal business in smuggling them into the United States from Mexico. If that illegal business were to disappear, the level of violence in Mexico would fall. So much is elementary and not subject to dispute by any rational person.
Whether that’s the best way of dealing with the problem is another question. Just as it’s obvious that legalization would end the Mexican drug wars, it’s obvious that lower prices and the other effects of legalization would increase the use, and abuse, of those drugs. How much is open to question, and would depend on the details of the post-legalization control regime, but everything we know suggests that the answer is “A lot.”
So you might reasonably decide that the (unknown) damage from legalization was large enough that we should instead accept the (huge, but known) damage from criminalization. Or you might reasonably decide the opposite. Or – my preferred position – you might try to change current enforcement (and other) policies in order to reduce the damage done by the illicit markets.
The organization called Law Enforcement Against Prohibition has, as its title suggests, chosen the legalization option. I think the organization’s analysis of the problem is intolerably shallow, a mere mirror-image of the usual Drug Warrior rant. But the notion of firing someone for saying what is obviously true is pretty damned offensive. Perhaps there’s more to the story than this. But if I were Janet Napolitano, I’d have someone on top of the situation, pronto.