Are horses the silver bullet that are going to keep drugs out of the United States? USA Today did a puff piece last week about horses being deployed on the border to help us win the "war on drugs." USA Today states, "The horses are the latest salvo in a back-and-forth chess match between drug cartels and smugglers on one side of the border and U.S. law enforcement on the other."
Does anyone seriously believe that horses on the border are going to have any impact on marijuana and cocaine availability or use in the United States? If we can't even keep drugs out of our maximum security prisons, what makes us think we can actually keep drugs from entering the two-thousand-mile-long U.S.-Mexico border?
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the U.S. war on drugs -- which has cost taxpayers more than a trillion dollars, transformed the U.S. into the largest incarcerator in the world, led to hundreds of thousands of overdose fatalities and HIV/AIDS transmissions, and created shocking racial disparities in the justice system. Yet drugs are as available as ever.
The drug war is even more disastrous for Mexico. Close to 50,000 people have been killed since President Calderon launched his "surge" against the drug cartels five years ago. Yet, still, drugs are as available as ever.
No disrespect to the horses efforts, but it's is time for the U.S. and Mexico to find an exit strategy from this unwinnable war.