The United States, with less than 5 percent of the world’s population, constitutes more than 30 percent of the global demand for illegal drugs, according to my calculations.
Yes, there are addicts, but experts estimate that eight in 10 users — more than 20 million people in this country — take drugs recreationally. They come from all walks of life — artists, bankers, engineers, and high school, college and graduate students…That’s why Americans must recognize that every time they buy illegal drugs they reward the cartels. If you think one person’s consumption is too small to make a difference, consider that $100 — what a recreational cocaine user might spend on a single weekend — buys the cartels 500 rounds of ammunition; $500 buys a new AR-15 rifle; $700 covers the monthly salary of one of their gunmen.
Without the vast profits from the drug trade, cartels would be infinitely less powerful, and our governments could neutralize them.
If you use illegal drugs, even just occasionally, please reconsider. Lives are at stake. Go for legal vices if you must. Even if you never use illegal drugs, you probably know people who do. Tell them about the trail of blood that led to their night of partying. If they had seen it firsthand, as I have, they wouldn’t buy those drugs.
We can shatter the misconception that recreational drug use is a victimless crime. We must put an end to the hypocrisy that allows people to make purchases based on their concerns about the environment, workers’ rights or animals — but not about killing people in Mexico.