By now you are probably aware of the recent resolution, written and passed by the El Paso city council, that included an amendment encouraging that ending drug prohibition be discussed. The resolution was aimed at addressing and drawing attention to the rising violence occurring in the city of Juárez, Mexico which borders El Paso, Texas.
After passing unanimously, the resolution was quickly vetoed by El Paso mayor John Cook, who reasoned that "It is not realistic to believe that the U.S. Congress will seriously consider any broad-based debate on the legalization of narcotics," Cook added. "That position is not consistent with the community standards both locally and nationally."
Cook goes on to say "The whole purpose of the resolution was to get national attention to the violence in Juárez," he said. "After it was amended, the focus was placed instead on legalizing drugs in the United States."
I disagree and think that had the amendment not been added, no one would have heard of this resolution and little more attention would have been drawn to the prohibition related violence in Juárez. Beto O'Rourke, the city councilman that added the amendment, speaks quite eloquently about the purpose of bringing legalization into the discussion. He makes it very clear that the council did not vote in support of legalization, but in support of evaluating the relationship between the rise of violence in Juárez and U.S. drug policy.
More than 20 people have already been killed in Juárez since the new year started. The details of these murders are so grotesque and frightening, it's hard to believe the Mayor wouldn't even support the discussion of drug decriminalization.
The council is set to vote on an override of the veto this Tuesday.
The El Paso Times has an article on the vote and a follow up opinion in support of the council's vote. Be sure to weigh in on the comments section and also to vote YES on the poll located near the end of this article. LEAP's Terry Nelson had an excellent op-ed printed in the El Paso times. Again, please leave comments of support for the resolution, Terry Nelson's op-ed, and while your at it, throw in a mention of your favorite student drug policy reform organization.
In an unrelated story, El Paso's "most wanted fugitive" is:
EL PASO -- A 23-year-old man who was arrested for shoplifting at Wal-Mart while eating potato wedges and popcorn chicken he didn't pay for, is the most-wanted fugitive this week, an El Paso County Sheriff's Office spokesman said.