The Great Debate

Addressing global scourge of illicit drugs

By Yury Fedotov
March 11, 2013

Discussions about illicit drugs can often hinge on misunderstandings about terms. This confusion is glaring when words such as “decriminalization,” where drug possession is no longer criminalized, and “legalization,” legalizing the sale of drugs like heroin or cocaine, are used interchangeably.

California vote and Mexican drug cartels

By Bernd Debusmann
October 15, 2010

What would legalizing marijuana in California, America’s most populous state, mean to the drug cartels whose fight for access to American markets have turned parts of Mexico into war zones? Shrinking profits? Certainly. Less violence? Maybe.

In drug war, the beginning of the end?

By Bernd Debusmann
August 20, 2010

MEXICO/

Between 1971, when Richard Nixon launched the war on drugs, and 2008, the latest year for which official figures are available, American law enforcement officials made more than 40 million drug arrests. That number roughly equals the population of California, or of the 33 biggest U.S. cities.