Why does Beto O’Rourke support drug reform?
Because the War on Drugs doesn’t workThis became obvious to Beto O’Rourke and Susie Byrd when they were El Paso City Representatives and started to ask questions about why El Paso’s sister city Ciudad Juárez had become the deadliest city in the world.
Their research led to this book.In Dealing Death and Drugs, Beto O'Rourke and Susie Byrd explore the costs and consequences of marijuana prohibition.
They argue that marijuana prohibition has created a black market so profitable that drug kingpins are billionaires and drug control doesn’t stand a chance. Using Juárez as their focus, they describe the business model of drug trafficking and explain why this illicit system has led to the never-ending slaughter of human beings. Their position: the only rational alternative to the War on Drugs is to end the current prohibition on marijuana.
‘That's Why Beto and I Wrote This Book’Everyday in El Paso, we are assaulted with the rat-a-tat-tat of a daily death count in Juárez’s drug war and yet my daughter reports that marijuana is widely available at her school and has been since she was in 7th grade. If our current drug policy has not successfully shielded my children from the ability to access drugs, how can I—how can we—support a policy that accepts eight people dying every day in Juárez as the collateral damage in a war that is marketed as keeping drugs out of the hands of our kids?
And even more astounding: faced with the drug war death toll in Mexico, faced with the high costs of the drug war and faced with the failures of the existing drug war policies, the only response of politicians and policymakers in both Mexico and the United States is to do more of the same, committing more dollars to a 40-year strategy that has failed our nation and has destabilized our neighbor.
If Washington won’t do anything different; if Mexico City won’t do anything different, then it is up to us, the citizens of the border, to write a different history with a better ending than the script that has been handed to us. We want you to help.
We can start by rattling the cages of the federal politicians who write these laws and the bureaucrats who manage them.
That’s why Beto and I wrote this book.
—From Dealing Death and Drugs: The Big Business of Dope in the U.S. and Mexico, afterword by Susie Byrd