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March 27, 2009

Secretary Clinton and a little refreshing truth

Clinton_Mexico "Give credit where credit is due," as the saying goes. Though I am reluctant to do so, I must say that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has gotten to the heart of the matter.

In a statement quoted in the Washington Post, Clinton said, "Our insatiable demand for illegal drugs fuels the drug trade." This fact is rarely relayed by the media or in popular culture. It is important to catch drug kingpins, who are responsible for funneling copious amounts of drugs into the United States. However, we also need to recognize that drugs affect every segment of society. 

Prisons are a hotbed of drug use, but drug addiction and use are not limited to convicted criminals. Traditional American families are battling drugs in otherwise stable homes. Without these recreational users and addicts there wouldn't be a drug trade, and therefore we wouldn't have these border turf wars.

That's why it's shameful that society trivializes Michael Phelps's smoking marijuana at a party. This impulse to use an illegal substance is very kind of behavior that creates the demand these brutal cartels are supplying. 

I applaud Clinton for acknowledging that, whether or not inhaling is involved, illegal drug use contributes to the trafficking that is devastating our southern border. 

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says, "The use of drugs inflicts very grave damage on human health and life. Their use, except on strictly therapeutic grounds, is a grave offense. Clandestine production of and trafficking in drugs are scandalous practices. They constitute direct co-operation in evil, since they encourage people to practices gravely contrary to the moral law."

This contradiction of the moral law speaks to the real problem with illegal drug use. There is no "innocent" use of illegal drugs. The quantity of drugs taken does not change drug use's moral gravity. Small-time drug users and addicts alike are the reason the large traffickers exist. If we fool ourselves into thinking that “trivial” amounts of drugs aren’t as morally wrong as full-blown addiction, then we will continue to lose the war on drugs and those who traffic in them. 

(Image © AP)

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My grandfather traveled the world as a "farmer's farmer." He was sent by the Federal Government to work on and lead projects for third-world countries to develop profitable, sustainable crops for them to grow.

He was once written up in National Geographic for a project that he was working on in Brazil.

He tells a story of when he was developing crops in Bolivia (I think that was the country) of meeting with the President of Bolivia. He was telling the leader of the nation that they needed to convert their crops from the illegal drugs they were growing to crops that their people could both eat and export.

The president of the nation replied, and I paraphrase, "When the United States stops buying the drugs that we grow, we will convert to the crops that you have developed. Until then, we can sell these drugs for much more money than any food crop you will ever develop."

I'm not sure of the year, but based on what I know, I would guess that was in the mid 1970's. Even though it took thirty years, I'm glad to know that our government finally got the message.

Richard Hassell

Well said Mr. Atwell! The one key factor in any business - legal or not - is the law of supply and demand. If we in America stop buying, the drug problem in our country will solve itself.

mister clean

The marijuana I grow for my use in my back yard doesn't fuel the drug trade.

Gina Dalfonzo

I'm . . . not even touching that one.


And that's not all. Mister clean leaves a much smaller carbon footprint, since his weed doesn't have to be trucked to his door!

Ben W

Yeah, but you should also consider the carbon footprint of getting the munchies. That can't be good ;D.


Who's we? I don't buy any illegal drugs. Do you?

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