More

The Mexican Supreme Court's marijuana ruling could save lives on both sides of the border.

Mexico's War on Drugs was a violent failure. Legalizing marijuana may right that wrong.

The Mexican Supreme Court's marijuana ruling could save lives on both sides of the border.

In 2006, then-Mexican President Felipe Calderón went all in on his country's version of the War on Drugs.

Calderón empowered the military to take action against Mexican drug cartels and put an end to the flow of drugs to the United States. What he got was unprecedented violence, with 100,000 dead and more than 26,000 people missing.


A Mexican soldier stands guard during the incineration of about 6,000 pounds of marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, and psychotropic pills in 2012. Photo by Julio Cesar Aguilar/AFP/Getty Images.

As U.S. decriminalization and legalization policies took hold, illegal importation of marijuana from Mexico fell.

This may seem obvious, but once Americans were able to legally grow, purchase, and possess marijuana (as we can in an increasing number of places within the U.S.), there was less incentive for the cartels to continue taking risks in drug-running.

Time reports that U.S. Border Patrol seizures of marijuana fell from 2.5 million pounds in 2011 to 1.9 million pounds in 2014. Even more impressive is that in 2014, with only five U.S. states legalizing marijuana, the Mexican army confiscated nearly a third less marijuana at the border than in 2013.


A Mexican soldier stands guard next to marijuana packages recovered near the U.S. border in 2010. Photo by Francisco Vega/AFP/Getty Images.

With more Americans able to acquire marijuana legally, illegal trade between Mexico and the U.S. declined, as did violent crime.

In 2011, Mexican police departments reported 22,852 murders. In 2014, that number dropped to 15,649. Reduce the cashflow to cartels, and they're less able to enact violence against others — it's simple math.

Guns recovered during a cartel raid. Photo by Pedro Pardo/AFP/Getty Images.

But now, a recent ruling from Mexico's Supreme Court might bring the country a whole lot closer to decriminalizing marijuana and putting an end to the violence.

Though the court didn't strike down any of the country's existing anti-marijuana laws, today's ruling, which states that individuals in Mexico have the right to grow marijuana for personal use, puts those laws on extremely shaky ground. After all, if people have a right to possess and use marijuana, existing laws stating the contrary may soon fall to legal challenges.

Demonstrators both for and against decriminalization of marijuana gathered outside the courthouse in Mexico City on Nov. 4, 2015. Photo by Alfredo Estrella/AFP/Getty Images.

Calderón left office in late 2012. His successor, President Enrique Peña Nieto, unveiled a new policy aimed at reducing violence instead of engaging cartels in military standoffs. While he doesn't support the legalization of marijuana outright, his approach has been significantly less destructive than Calderón's.

Will Mexico's marijuana laws ultimately fall? Will legalization continue to make its way across the U.S.? One can hope.

One can argue that alcohol and tobacco are more dangerous than marijuana. After all, no one has ever died of a marijuana overdose, and in states that have legalized it, there haven't been any of the ill effects opponents of legalization warned of. Once you factor in the 100,000-plus lives lost to cartel violence and the War on Drugs, legalization is a no-brainer.

True
Back Market

Between the new normal that is working from home and e-learning for students of all ages, having functional electronic devices is extremely important. But that doesn't mean needing to run out and buy the latest and greatest model. In fact, this cycle of constantly upgrading our devices to keep up with the newest technology is an incredibly dangerous habit.

The amount of e-waste we produce each year is growing at an increasing rate, and the improper treatment and disposal of this waste is harmful to both human health and the planet.

So what's the solution? While no one expects you to stop purchasing new phones, laptops, and other devices, what you can do is consider where you're purchasing them from and how often in order to help improve the planet for future generations.

Keep Reading Show less
via Tom Ward / Instagram

Artist Tom Ward has used his incredible illustration techniques to give us some new perspective on modern life through popular Disney characters. "Disney characters are so iconic that I thought transporting them to our modern world could help us see it through new eyes," he told The Metro.

Tom says he wanted to bring to life "the times we live in and communicate topical issues in a relatable way."

In Ward's "Alt Disney" series, Prince Charming and Pinocchio have fallen victim to smart phone addiction. Ariel is living in a polluted ocean, and Simba and Baloo have been abused by humans.

Keep Reading Show less
True
Back Market

Between the new normal that is working from home and e-learning for students of all ages, having functional electronic devices is extremely important. But that doesn't mean needing to run out and buy the latest and greatest model. In fact, this cycle of constantly upgrading our devices to keep up with the newest technology is an incredibly dangerous habit.

The amount of e-waste we produce each year is growing at an increasing rate, and the improper treatment and disposal of this waste is harmful to both human health and the planet.

So what's the solution? While no one expects you to stop purchasing new phones, laptops, and other devices, what you can do is consider where you're purchasing them from and how often in order to help improve the planet for future generations.

Keep Reading Show less

With many schools going virtual, many daycare facilities being closed or limited, and millions of parents working from home during the pandemic, the balance working moms have always struggled to achieve has become even more challenging in 2020. Though there are more women in the workforce than ever, women still take on the lion's share of household and childcare duties. Moms also tend to bear the mental load of keeping track of all the little details that keep family life running smoothly, from noticing when kids are outgrowing their clothing to keeping track of doctor and dentist appointments to organizing kids' extracurricular activities.

It's a lot. And it's a lot more now that we're also dealing with the daily existential dread of a global pandemic, social unrest, political upheaval, and increasingly intense natural disasters.

That's why scientist Gretchen Goldman's refreshingly honest photo showing where and how she conducted a CNN interview is resonating with so many.

Keep Reading Show less

Schools often have to walk a fine line when it comes to parental complaints. Diverse backgrounds, beliefs, and preferences for what kids see and hear will always mean that schools can't please everyone all the time, so educators have to discern what's best for the whole, broad spectrum of kids in their care.

Sometimes, what's best is hard to discern. Sometimes it's absolutely not.

Such was the case this week when a parent at a St. Louis elementary school complained in a Facebook group about a book that was read to her 7-year-old. The parent wrote:

"Anyone else check out the read a loud book on Canvas for 2nd grade today? Ron's Big Mission was the book that was read out loud to my 7 year old. I caught this after she watched it bc I was working with my 3rd grader. I have called my daughters school. Parents, we have to preview what we are letting the kids see on there."

Keep Reading Show less