Despite the downturn in the US economy, Mexican drug cartels are still finding a large market for selling drugs. Consumers in the US provide a vast, recession proof and an unending market for Mexican gangs to sell their drugs that has locked them into a drug war that has killed more than 10,780 people since December 2006.
According to a recent Federal statistics report, 46 percent of Americans 12 and older or 114 million people have used illegal drugs at some point. Approximately, 8 percent of those or 20 million people are current users. They live in cities from coast to coast – herion addicts in big cities, “meth heads” in the Midwest and teens smoking marijuana throughout the country.
Marijuana is by far the number one drug used by 100 million Americans, including nearly half of high school seniors. More than 35 million Americans have used cocaine at some point and 34 million have taken LSD or other hallucinogens.
In 2007,14.2 million arrests were for drug abuse violations and accounted for 13 percent or more than 1.8 million arrests. Marijuana busts for mostly possession rather than sale, accounted for nearly half the drug arrests. In addition, drug offenders make up about 20 percent of the state prison population and more than half the federal prison population.
Rhode Island had the highest rate (11.2%) of people 12 and older who had used illegal drugs. North Dakota had the lowest rate, 5.7 percent. Vermont has the highest rate of marijuana usage; Utah the lowest. Five percent of 12th graders smoke marijuana daily. Nearly 51 percent of males 12 and older have tried illegal drugs at some point, compared with 42 percent of females.
These astonishing statistics come from the 2007 National Survey on Drug Usage and Health and the Monitoring The Future that was conducted by the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research for the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Fighting drug use in the U.S. seems to be an unending story that Mexican cartels hope never ends. As long as people continue to demand drugs, cartels will be willing to sell them illegal drugs. Some critics say that making drugs legal would put the cartels out of business. There is no proof to this claim. People need to be educated about how harmful drug use is on their body and life. Until then law enforcement will continue to arrest illegal drug users.