Look What the Fox Drug In

A woman of 60, suffering uncontrollable hiccups, consults a specialist, who performs a battery of tests. She awaits the results anxiously; finally, she is called into the doctor’s office. “Lady, you’re pregnant,” he tells her, and she runs off crying down the hall. “But she’s not pregnant,” the nurse complains. “That’s true,” says the doctor. “And she doesn’t have hiccups anymore, either.”

It looks like our friends south of the border are trying to solve the immigration crisis by prescribing some of that kind of medicine. I am referring to the new law passed this weekend in Mexico legalizing marijuana and cocaine when in bite-size user quantities and not in wheelbarrow-full amounts suitable for commercial purposes.

Now if you’re a trusting sort, then you can interpret this as a new philosophy of drug use that genius Mexican think-tank guys came up with to reorder the mores of their society. Or just to relieve their overworked and scaredy-cat cops, who were anyway too chicken to go after every pot or to cut the lines for cocaine. If you believe that, then the timing of this in the midst of the immigration arm-wrestle between the U.S. and Mexico is the sheerest coincidence.

A more comprehensive analysis of this move tells us that this is actually designed to ‘cure’ the immigration problem by scaring us with the drug law. It’s actually less of a drug law than a stealth immigration law. They expect us to offer a deal in which we agree to some kind of amnesty for our Mexican illegals and they repeal that law or find a way to reinterpret it into nonexistence.

Let’s take a moment to consider some of the ways in which this law will exacerbate the border problems. First, it increases movement around the border. Many Americans will drift over to the other side to use and import drugs that are legal in Mexico but not at home. Mexicans with legal visas may travel more extensively if they can help finance their excursion by bringing some drugs for resale in the States. The more intense and frantic this kind of borderline illegal borderline crossing, the more crime it breeds, including ‘undocumented’ immigrants working their way into the hysteria.

Second, it creates an incentive for the illegal drug trade to merge with the human smuggling trade. In the past, the people walkers avoided hooking up with the drug runners, because they wanted the Federales to steer clear. Now, it may pay to join forces. Say I am moving a hundred people over the border in a truck. The drug guys give each passenger the maximum legal amount. On the American side the passengers hand it over to the confederate who accepts the shipment. This can increase profits all around and reduce risk.

A point might even be reached where people can finance their trip over the border just by transporting the drugs. Although the drug use and drug sale is illegal here, the Mexicans for the most part expect to immediately achieve anonymity once they cross the border. The reason they avoid bringing drugs over now is not fear of our cops but of theirs. Take that away and all kinds of shenanigans may ensue.

All in all, a border environment in which every person crossing in our direction is a potential smuggler of a few hundred dollars worth of drugs, because the other government tolerates it, is a recipe for absolute chaos. If we don’t search people, we have massive new drug imports and trade. If we do search, that adds incalculably more man-hours of labor, slows the tempo of travel appreciably, and turns our border people into drug people. A mess.

You have to hand it to the Mexicans. Even our hero, Ronald Reagan, was ineffective when he tried to get greater cooperation on immigration. President Salinas got him a nice photo-op atop a beautiful white Arabian horse, then sent him back empty-handed; shortly afterwards, he signed the Simpson-Mazzoli amnesty law of 1986. The current Fox is more wily, but the result is the same.

Odds are that even the anti-amnesty voices within the administration will throw up their hands now and make a deal. They’ll use this as the opportunity to cover themselves: we were forced to make a deal or be overrun by drugs. It’s like that other doctor joke, that Henny Youngman used to tell. Nurse: “Doctor, the man you just treated walked out of the office and dropped dead in front of the door.”  Doctor: “Quick, run out and turn him around to face the entrance.”