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Smoking A Little Weed Isn’t That Bad, Is It?

January 25, 2012

by Pamela Zeller, Executive Director, Sexual Violence Center

In the United States, the discussion continues as to whether or not marijuana is really harmful or should be classified along with other illegal drugs. These debates take place in living rooms, council chambers and university classrooms. It is quite privileged and civilized. What does not enter the discussion is what is happening in developing countries as a result of the drug trade to feed the insatiable appetite for illegal chemical substances in the U.S.

The drug trade has many casualties. “According to the United Nations, Honduras has the world’s highest murder rate, with more than 82 murders per 100,000 people last year. By comparison, Mexico, where more than 45,000 people have been killed since President Felipe Calderon deployed the military against the cartels there five years ago, has a murder rate of 18 per 100,000 and the US 4.8.” (

The other casualties of the drug trade are the thousands of children, women and men who are sexually assaulted when crossing over into the U.S., the “ticket price” from the drug cartels for safe passage. The drug cartels have evolved over the past ten years to a highly organized crime syndicate that also traffics in children and women for use as sex slaves in brothels, camps, pornography, street prostitution and pedophile rings.

So the next time you see someone light up, make sure to tell them to wash the blood off of their hands first.

Click here for more information and resources about sex trafficking.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 25, 2012 8:08 pm

    Is this really applicable to trade in marijuana? I would like to see some more information about how narcotics trade issues are affected by marijuana use.

    I would also like to see some nuance in addressing marijuana use. If you’re going to address violence in conjunction with marijuana, why not discuss the devastation wrought by the “war on drugs” and disproportionate incarceration rates for people of color with the exact same marijuana-related activity as white people?

    • January 25, 2012 10:26 pm

      Hello LK. There are a number of issues and directions that can be considered in discussing the drug trade; these can be broken down by the drug itself, the region, and as you mentioned, criminal justice perspectives and racism. Our focus for this blog is primarily on issues related to sexual violence. Perhaps a future blog article might examine incarceration rates for sexual offenders. Thank you for your comment!

  2. April 30, 2012 8:32 pm

    Another in a long list of reason to legalize.

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