Why Colombia should fully legalize cocaine

Both Gustavo Petro and Joe Biden misunderstand how supply and demand work. A more radical approach is needed to reduce drug-related crime
Foreign Policy (US)
Tuesday, November 15, 2022

cocaine seizedColombia’s war on drugs dominated the headlines of U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s October visit to Bogotá. Michael Crowley, a diplomatic correspondent for the New York Times, wrote of policy splits between the Biden administration and Colombia’s new president, Gustavo Petro, regarding their divergent views on the war on drugs. Although they do diverge, both stances on the drug war have more similarities than differences—and they are both wrong, as they are oblivious to the drug trade’s market dynamics. The White House has reinforced the traditional strategy of trying to make the price of cocaine so expensive that U.S. consumers won’t want to buy it. Petro has correctly condemned the drug war for its failures, but his critique has amounted to mere posturing, with no plan to recognize the inescapable facts of market forces.