Katie Kieffer

Pop star Lady Gaga and U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano both attract ‘little monsters.’ But whereas Lady Gaga attracts innocuous albeit freakishly dressed teenagers, Lady Napolitano literally attracts ‘little monsters’—violent cárteles del narcotráfico.

The Obama administration, with Lady Napolitano at the helm of the Department of Homeland Security, is unconstitutionally driving the American drug market underground, where the drugs are more potently addictive and the dealers are brutal Mexican cartel leaders. Here is what happens when the federal government tries to regulate narcotics:

A black market emerges

When the federal government prohibits a substance, whether it is alcohol or marijuana, that substance does not disappear. Rather, it is sold on a black market without regulation. Just as Americans bought poisonous homemade brews during the Prohibition era, Americans are now buying extremely potent and highly addictive methamphetamine (up to 90 percent pure) on the street from Mexican “superlabs.” Meanwhile, Americans suffering from cancer or multiple sclerosis are struggling to obtain medicinal marijuana to relieve their excruciating pain.

A black market empowers and enriches drug cartel monopolists. Unlike a free market entrepreneur who maintains his market position through high standards and innovation, a cartel leader uses fraud and violence to maintain his monopoly.

For example, Joaquín “Shorty” Guzmánkeeps making Forbes "most powerful people" and "richest people" lists. Guzmán is not an innovative, job-creating, taxpaying businessman (think Steve Jobs) or a regulated medical professional (think Dr. Mehmet Oz).

Guzmán is a barbaric Mexican drug cartel leader. He escaped from a maximum-security prison in Jalisco, Mexico in 2001 and currently remains at large. In 2009, his net worth was estimated to be $1 billion. Thousands of deaths are attributed to Guzmán’s enforcers.

Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman argued: “The role of the government is to protect the drug cartel. That’s literally true. … What do I mean by that? In an ordinary free market business, let’s take potatoes, beef, anything you want, there are thousands of importers and exporters; anybody can go into the business. But it’s very hard for a small person to go into the drug importing business because our interdiction efforts essentially make it enormously costly. So, the only people who can survive in that business are these large metal and cartel kind of people who have enough money so they can have fleets of airplanes, so they can have sophisticated methods and so on. In addition to which, by keeping goods out and by arresting—let’s say local marijuana growers—the government keeps the price of these products up, so what more could a monopolist want?”

Violence breaks out

Since President Felipe Calderón declared a war against drugs in 2006 (fought in collaboration with the United States’ unconstitutional war on drugs), an indefensible number of innocent people have died (over 50,000).

As multiple drug-trafficking gangs compete for control of Mexico’s north-eastern corridor, violent attacks are surging. Gangs use public violence to scare off competition. Areas that were once considered safe for American citizens seeking warm retirement communities, such as Chapala, are now haunted by episodes of cartel violence.

15 bodies were discovered on the road to Chapala in early May. On May 4, a gang decapitated 14 bodies and hung nine more bodies from a highway overpass in Nuevo Laredo. On May 13, Mexican authorities uncovered 50 bodies, mostly mutilated, on the highway between the U.S. border and Mexico’s wealthiest city, Monterrey.

On August 9, Mexican police found 14 male bodies crammed into a sports utility vehicle in San Luis Potosi state. The next day, Mexican police discovered eight decomposing bodies in a car near a waterpark in the neighboring town of Fresnillo. Both mass killings are attributed to the Zetas gang.

U.S. agents die while states lose rights

U.S. Border Patrol agent Nicolas Ivie was shot and killed by drug smugglers on October 2 in south-eastern Arizona while responding to a tripped ground sensor near the U.S-Mexico border. Ivie joins Border Patrol agent Brian Terry (killed in the Arizona borderlands in 2010 as a result of the Fast and Furious flop) and two other Border Patrol agents who were killed while chasing drug smugglers near Phoenix last year.

As I have written before, Lady Napolitano (along with her “boss” President Obama and “partner” Attorney General Eric Holder) consistently refuse to acknowledge or properly respond to drug cartel border violence.

On November 6, voters in Oregon, Colorado and Washington state will vote on measures to tax and legalize marijuana sales. Per the 10th Amendment, states have the right to legalize or ban substances that adults choose to digest at their own peril—or medical relief. However, the Obama administration is threatening to continue its unconstitutional track record and overturn these measures, reports Reuters.

Decriminalizing drugs is a constitutional and tested solution (see Portugal) for eliminating drug abuse. And clearly Lady Napolitano’s “solution” is failing; sending U.S. agents on fatal chases for little cartel monsters is propping up a violent black market.


Katie Kieffer

Katie Kieffer is a columnist and political commentator. She runs KatieKieffer.com. Kieffer is the author of the forthcoming book "LET ME BE CLEAR."