About Secret History

Commentary on Latin America.
Mostly about Mexico - but not always.
Designed to encourage readers to learn about
the apparently "secret history" of 500 million people
spread across two continents
- but not always.
You can always count on a little snark.

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Criminal by Any Other Name... Prop 19

National Public Radio ran an interesting piece this morning with interviews from pot growers (who do not want pot legalized via prop 19) and cops and mothers groups who do. It is worth a listen. I was struck by several things:
1) The focus of the story on market forces.
2) The angst of the pot growers about corporations and taxes.
3) The sense of nationalism... a sort of "smoke California first" approach combined with the "fight the cartels" discussion.
4) The faith and trust that law enforcement puts in big business to solve the narcotics problem.
5) The focus the police have on the racial imbalance regarding pot (see El Aguila's post at Cyber Hacienda).

Of those I found most disturbing the trust and faith that mother's groups and the police put in the hands of business. I'm not sure I see many social benefits aside from the monopoly of violence by the state from the legalized vice trade. I also wonder if we aren't seeing the corporate hegemony at work, with people turning to established business for safe shelter instead of the community or health care (though most of that, of course, is big business as well - but I'm not sure we think of it that way as a society).

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