Mexico's War on Drugs Causes and Consequences

Mexico's War on Drugs Causes and Consequences

Mexico's War on Drugs Causes and Consequences

Mexico's War on Drugs Causes and Consequences


This text explains the punitive trend in Mexican anti-drug policies as a political imperative, an out-growth of the perceived need both to counter the growth of the illegal drug market and to prevent US police and judicial authorities from acting as a surrogate justice system in Mexico.


When discussing the history of the international movement to suppress drug production and smuggling, most authors agree that, from the beginning, U.S. leaders have played an important role. Concern over growing opium consumption in the United States in the early 1900s was slowly transformed by U.S. "moral entrepreneurs" into a worldwide movement for the restriction of drug abuse.

U.S. Prohibition Leads to Mexican Prohibition

At the request of the British and U.S. governments, delegates from thirteen countries met in Shanghai in 1909 for the first international antiopium conference, identified by many as the beginning of a lengthy series of multilateral conventions to suppress the trade, manufacture, and use of drugs. a few years later, the international agenda was expanded to include regulations for morphine, cocaine, and marijuana. It soon became clear for the most interested parties that the best way to get other governments to participate in the crusade against drugs was persuading them to declare drug production and trade illegal.

Most multilateral initiatives were in fact attempts to extend U.S. domestic drug laws to the international arena. the 1909 Act to Prohibit the Importation and Use of Opium for Other than Medicinal Purposes was the first on a long list of drug regulations in the United States. Increasing violations of the 1909 act and the 1914 Harrison Narcotic Law led to larger law enforcement budgets . . .

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