Graduate student Ben Lessing reflects on Drug Policy Alliance founder Ethan Nadelmann’s take on the drug wars.
Overshadowed for much of the last decade by 9/11 and its aftermath, the war on drugs has made a sudden return to the headlines. In Mexico, more than 10,000 people have died since December 2006, when President Felipe Calderón enlisted the army in his fight against drug traffickers. With the bloodshed beginning to spill over the border and into the consciousness of the American public, the Obama administration has responded by simultaneously trying to support Calderón, hold him accountable and keep his war from spreading north. At the same time, President Obama has acknowledged that the United States — with its demand for drugs and wide-open gun market — is partially responsible for Mexico’s troubles.