Obama’s Drug Czar, Gil Kerlikowske, announced a few weeks ago that the federal government would begin to shift its strategy in the War on Drugs, to a focus on prevention, treatment and the public health aspects of domestic drug use and addiction. A lot of people applauded the policy shift as a step in the right direction. It reflects the thinking that the best way to fight drugs isn’t a frontal assault on supply, but instead a campaign to reduce demand. This sort of tactic is important, because it’s less about stopping the drug trade itself and more about trying to root out its causes…

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Yesterday in Mexico City, national security minister Genero Garcia Luna remarked at the Reuters Latin American Investment Summit that the war against the cartels will in all probability take years before anything is accomplished. Citing other prominent examples of long-lasting wars on organized crime in places like Italy, Colombia and Chicago in the 1920s, Garcia Luna explained that expectations for a quick finish should be tempered against these historical examples that lasted “six years on average.”

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