Does smoking reefer lead to using other drugs, in daily practice usually described as cocaine and heroin? Raising the possibility that the answer to this question might be affirmative, is known as the stepping stone hypothesis. Recently this hypothesis has been raised again in slightly other terms: cannabis use as a “gateway” to other allegedly more dangerous drugs.
The Mexican army, that historically has maintained a stringent "nationalistic" stance towards the United States, now supports a form of militarization that, disguising itself as a "war on drugs", imposes a "democracy of national security".
A surprising proposal presented to US President Bill Clinton by Argentine President Saul Menem during a visit in December 1996 to the White House seems to indicate a new role for the armed forces of this Latin American country.
The possibilities of a lasting peace in the region are placed in doubt by a new and silent war: one unleashed against drug trafficking, and in which the role of the region's armed forces remains unclear.
The following essays present insights into the various levels of military involvement in the war on drugs and the implications of this involvement in terms of democracy and human rights in the Western hemisphere.
Anti-drug missions in Bolivia have frequently been transformed into public scandals. These scandals emphasize and sometimes prove the direct involvement of high government officials in drug trafficking and their protection of drug lords.
The only lasting solution to the political and social instability and the corruption of governments and security forces, which are linked to drug trafficking, lies in gradual decriminalization of the market.