Three South American countries are reported to be considering legalizing the drugs trade, in a move that could seriously stymie ongoing western attempts to ensure that illicit drugs are kept under control. By rejecting the US ‘war on drugs’, Guatemala, Colombia and Mexico risk beginning a high-profile debate in which international sanctions could end up being applied in an attempt to prevent any meaningful changes from taking place.
For the US and much of the west, the ‘war on drugs’ is a necessary measure designed to limit the flow of illegal drugs. For many South American governments, however, the ‘war on drugs’ is a costly exercise that has brough little but instabilty and violence. No wonder, then, that many South American governments are now openly discussing the possibility that this trade should just be accepted.
The drugs war in Mexico has been particularly costly, and many in the country’s government are believed to be of the opinion that this war is increasingly unnecessary. It remains to be seen whether discussion of this subejct leads to any major changes, but the idea of ending the ‘war on drugs’ is very much ‘out there’ and it seems to be only a matter of time before one country decides to take the plunge.