Thursday, September 8, 2011

Department of Justice Says Mexican Cartels Operating in More Than 1,000 U.S. Cities

Two Years Ago, DoJ Said Cartels Were in 230 U.S. Cities

WASHINGTON, DC -- A newly released report by the U.S. Department of Justice shows that Mexican drug cartels are rapidly gaining ground inside the United States, despite expensive efforts by the government to crack down on trafficking. In light of the findings, a group of border patrol agents, police officers and judges is saying that it is time to legalize and regulate drugs in order to de-fund the cartels that make so much money from the illicit drug market.

"As someone who fought on the front lines of the failed 'war on drugs' for decades it is really no surprise to me that our prohibition policy isn't helping to achieve any reduction in drug trafficking," said Terry Nelson, a board member for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and a retired U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent. "We should have learned this lesson decades ago with alcohol prohibition, but let's hope that the data in this new government report helps more members of Congress and Obama administration officials to realize that their 'drug war' strategy is an abysmal failure and that it's time for a new direction."

The DoJ report, the 2011 National Drug Threat Assessment, says that Mexican criminal organizations have set up shop in more than a thousand U.S. cities, a sharp rise from the 230 cities reported in the 2009 assessment. The new report also says that, "The threat posed by the trafficking and abuse of illicit drugs will not abate in the near term and may increase."

In a separate recently leaked memo, U.S. Customs and Border Protection admits that enforcement operations against the cartels have no "discernible impact on drug flows."

"Innocent civilians and hardworking law enforcement officers are dying every day because of our failed policies," said Nelson. "The fact that we keep ramping up the 'drug war' instead of changing course is unconscionable."

The 2011 National Drug Threat Assessment can be found at

The leaked memo from U.S. Customs and Border Protection can be found at

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) represents police, prosecutors, judges, FBI/DEA agents and others who want to legalize and regulate drugs after fighting on the front lines of the "war on drugs" and learning firsthand that prohibition only serves to worsen addiction and violence. More info at

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 8, 2011
CONTACT: Tom Angell - (202) 557-4979 or


  1. LEAP - I like the addition of the Blog. I've followed LEAP for a couple of years now and see how you've grown. There is still along way to go, even if sanity magically happens and Congress and the White would actually realize the fallacy and consequences of "the War on Drugs", even as pres. Obama downplays that motto.

    I grew up trusting law enforcement was my friend... abide by the laws, both natural and man-made (laws created as I was taught for good reason and just cause) and you become, a law-abiding citizen. The next step is to become a productive member of society, and if fortunate or especially driven, a prominent member of society.

    That is the ideal... but it's not the reality. The issue becomes, do we create and enforce laws created counter to nature, or provide ways in which to reduce harm, where harm would if unsupervised would occur, or where harm may occur in varying forms, ie, tobacco-cancer, alcohol-death, cannabis-schizophrenia. All are risks, but how we administer such risks is what's vitally important. One must consider counter balances, such as a drink of an oz. of alcohol daily is a good thing. Whereas even one tobacco cigarette is a bad thing. Cannabis/marijuana, most research from private studies and abroad strongly indicate it may also be very healthy, and much less harmful than legally available, similarly used substances.

    I think what LEAP is trying to say is "The War on Drugs Has failed", because the underlying premise of using law enforcement to spend valuable, tax-payer paid time on people violating a law of nature, is unreasonable and they are witness to the harm such enforcement causes, and what little effect it has reducing harm to society.

    I also want to add... you don't get many comm- enters, yet, but from personal experience, I've had a blog for over two years now - a good blog and I rarely get comments either. I cherish the 6 followers I have.

    Just want to say thanks again for your continuing help which this failure and blight of a war!

  2. Commenters come and go. Sometimes it’s more, sometimes less.

    Personally I don’t think people see this as the nexus of so many problems that it is. Pick a social concern and I bet it’s made far worse by prohibition. It’s the elephant in the room that no one wants to acknowledge. They’re too busy being afraid of the Senator McCarthy’s who are expert at accusing everyone of being a commie, or druggie in this case.

    The thing that strikes me, and probably us all, about this press release is how us reformers see it as a track record of failure, evidence of bad policy, the inevitable awful fruit of the Drug War Tree.

    But the prohibitionists see it as an excuse to continue fighting, to step up the fight, the need to spend more money we don’t have, hire more people to invade your privacy and treat you like a criminal at every turn.

    The fact is some people just love making trouble. Bullies. They get bored and want action, they want a fight. So they make trouble in order to fight it.

    In the school yard it’s bad enough, but it’s just plain evil when it comes to adults doing it, robbing taxpayers, making us all much less safe, intentionally spreading drugs in order to cause trouble, profiting from both sides, the heavy handed enforcement side and the underworld distribution side.

    There was news that the Drug Czar was please to announce they were going to help cause the trafficking organizations to become even stronger. How? By stepping up the battle against them.

  3. Well said, Andrew C. Bairnsfather!

    I note especially your appropriate use of the term "bully" to describe certain adults... and the more prominent the adult bully, the worse it is for those they spot as vulnerable. There is far too much of this evident in our world, and the USA of all countries should be doing everything it can to attend to this disordered behavior, that leads to corruption, financial ruin, deaths, murders and genocides; suicides, psychological problems, and oh, a list so very wrong. But what nails me to the wall is the US governments War on Drugs, and it's apparent total focus on zero tolerance to those substances it deems illegal, and extraordinary tolerance, and even encouraged use of those far more potentially harmful, but legal.

    The loss of gifted and talented people in our society due to the oppression and harm from bullying, especially by those who are prominent leaders in our society, represents a huge loss to all of us.

    Imagine the artist in the park, the shy person with a knack for talking to people and helping them, now imagine someone throws an egg into their face... the police arrive and throw the person with egg on their face into jail. That is the way cannabis users are treated, so they hide. They get lumped in with prescription drugs abusers, glue sniffers, pedophiles, heroin addicts.

    Our government, like the McCarthy Era, seem bent on dividing the country... into the chosen ones and the rest of us become second class. Any time you hear someone say "Not everyone should be allowed to vote", or "So and So could never be elected President", or "I never Inhaled", a flag should go up... (Romney made the statement he never inhaled quite recently).

    I read the press release from the Drug Czar... I didn't see that it included alcohol use or tobacco use. The latter is a narcotic. The former often a substance leading towards violent, unreasonable behavior.

    It is sad to see so much emphasis placed on something that would become manageable if only rational minds prevailed. They're escalating the war. Escalating the harm. Our society is at a breaking point, the country of Mexico counts 40,000+ dead as a result of this war, and Pres. Calderon blames demand "for drugs" in the US.

    How many times must we revisit alcohol prohibition to witness the effects of prohibition, or the McCarthy Era to see the effects of National Intimidation and Penal consequences that destroyed many people.

    It's 2011... It's time to get civilized. Stop the Hurt!

  4. When does the insanity end? Prohibition does not work, never has. It only creates an underground economy. Law enforcement is put on the front line fighting those who are making money from it and risking their lives for what? The eventual legalization because the costs are escalating with little sign of abatement in the usage; or the realization that taxes cannot be spent to curb something a significant portion of the population are doing as being normal, accepted or harmless (in their adult view). If half the population has used an entertainment drug in their lifetime what does that say about the rights of the majority? What does it say about minority rights in scores of other activities lawmakers in the government want to have an opinion in, or control over? Tobacco is a good example and is not illegal and less than half the population uses it. It is controlled and far more addictive and dangerous than most entertainment drugs, yet the numbers of people using it are shrinking, partly due to regulation, and realization that it causes health concerns. That is the choice of people, with some urging from regulators. Who thinks users are going to stop having sex any more than they will stop other forms of entertainment? Who is kidding who? (I'm not advocating its use, only control.)

    How many hypocrites, pardon me, bureaucrats, does it take to keep insane and senseless policies that risk lives, because they want to keep their jobs? Recreational drugs are not going away and their use has grown and stabilized in the decades since cannabis was demonized by do-gooders. Surely the access to such information on the internet at a moment's notice proves that, if the actual numbers of people using or apprehended with such content are not a clear indicator.

    How many billions in taxes are being wasted a year in a futile war on drugs, while criminals (most who are not even nationals) are pocketing vast profits for growing or manufacturing the products? Government gets little or none of the profit (as taxes), no control; and then burden and criminalize apprehended taxpayers with the paranoia of laws which clearly do not reflect the will of the people, only a minority (who are often hypocrites. They use drugs, but get away with using them because of their position or income). Then once any users are apprehended taxpayers get to keep the ‘offenders’ in prison at a cost of nearly $200/day… with no real harm to society, and no related taxes coming in to offset that cost. Losses of profits/taxes amount to hundreds of billions a year. The lives at risk are not just users from adulterated drugs, it includes those who want to sell where bigger organizations want control of the profits. Government cannot control let alone eliminate the risks because the public wants the drugs and what control can exist when the product is illegal?

    Government is there to reflect the will of the population and to protect the interests of minorities. Clearly ultraconservative views and actions are not helping the nation find its way to stabilizing the economy. The total sales amount to many hundreds of billions and the economy continues to falter, while drug cartels are carting billions into the economies of other nations bleeding a weakening economy, and taking lives because there is no control.

    More legislation and punishment won't solve the problem. A saner view of the solutions might.


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