|The risks of the illegal drug industry: |
An alleged narcotrafficker being escorted
And the idea is a good one for multiple reasons - but probably not for the guerrillas.
The guerrilla argue that legalizing drugs would reduce their profit margins and make trafficking less desireable. That's true - but only partially.
|Another price to be paid by the illegal-drugs |
industry:co Drug-related killings in Monterrey, Mexico.
But that huge financial difference is balanced by the great costs which legal products don't carry: The drug cargoes run big risks of being discovered and confisticated; drug traffickers themselves are often arrested and imprisoned by authorities; and drug traffickers know they might be attacked and killed by police or rivals in the drug trade. Drug traffickers, like all good businessmen, figure in those business costs.
|FARC guerrillas, who make much of their |
income from the illegal drugs trade.
Are they ready to change into business suits?
Of course, the legalized drug industry would have to pay a substantial new cost: taxes. (Which is why decriminalization would benefit the Colombian state: More revenue for the government and less for criminal groups. That sounds like a good deal to me.)
|The new style legalized drug industry? |
Business suits and tax payments.
Instead of disappearing, a new class of businesspeople would take over the drug trade. The high-risk, live-fast-die-young personality types would be replaced by powerpoint-wielding men and women calculating quarterly profit margins and depreciation rates.
And those don't sound like the FARC guerrillas.
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours