(Heavy Sigh) Another Casuality of the Drug War

May 31, 2012 By: Juanita Jean Herownself Category: Uncategorized

The eight term Democratic  United States Congressman from El Paso, Silvestre Reyes, got whipped in the Democratic primary.


There were lots of reasons for this, but the main, overriding, and why-the-hell-can’t-people-see-this-tsunami reason is that his opponent favors legalizing marijuana.

Every day the good people of El Paso see the failure of the drug war across its border with Mexico.

El Pasoans are well aware that the Mexican narcos spilling all that blood purchase their high-powered weapons with the more than $30 billion that cartels earn annually trafficking drugs to Americans – the lion’s share of which comes from the sale not of heroin or cocaine or methamphetamine, but marijuana.

Legalize marijuana and you rob the major source of funding for drug cartels.  You also can save police work for major deadly drugs.

The folks in El Paso see that and they elected Beto O’Rourke, who sat on city council when they unanimously voted to legalize marijuana.  Unanimously.  The mayor vetoed it.

It was a five person race and one man got over 50% of the vote – the man who got attacked for favoring reform of marijuana laws.

On the campaign trail, Reyes touted his experience and connections, the El Paso Times reports, while blasting O’Rourke for his support for marijuana legalization. The campaign turned especially negative in the final week of the race as Reyes attacked O’Rourke’s character.

Some folks I know tried like the dickens to get a referendum on the Texas Democratic ballot to say that we favor legalization of marijuana.  It couldn’t get the votes to pass the executive committee.

I truly hate to lose Reyes because he’s a good man, but if he didn’t see this coming a mile off, he can’t see lightning or hear thunder.  I wish Beto O’Rourke good luck in Washington (whoever wins the Democratic primary in El Paso wins the election) and hopes he keeps his word to the people.

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16 Comments to “(Heavy Sigh) Another Casuality of the Drug War”

  1. TexasEllen says:

    I wish Reyes a happy retirement, he has worked hard and done us proud most of the time. Good luck to Beto, maybe his election will get the message thru to the resolutions committee, eventually.

  2. Legalization of pot also would be a giant boon to Texas agriculture. Win-win.

  3. Bud Malone says:

    Thanks, Juanita. I can understand a rookie Congressman and his staff being oblivious to the wishes of the community. Reyes may have had the “DC blindness” after all that time in never never land. That Congressional pension should temper the sadness of loosing.

  4. mollusk says:

    (sigh) Why do you think they call it “weed?”

  5. What to say?

    Listen to the people.

    We are tired of “wars”………….. period.

  6. It sounds like Reyes did the wrong thing by blasting Beto on his position, which was free advertising for Beto. The Texas Democrats need to put on their grownup panties and start acting more progressive.

  7. BarbinDC says:

    I’ve heard that Reyes indulged in some nepotism, which was highlighted during the campaign. There was also some consternation in the Democratic Caucus of the House when the Dems took back the Speaker’s Chair and Reyes was up to chair a big-deal committee overseeing security, or the military, or something like that. (I’m sure JJ has peeps who remember the details). He wasn’t considered knowledgeable enough for that job, IIRC.

  8. RockheadedMama says:

    Hell, marijuana is a powerful powerful drug. It’s so powerful, it’s kept hundreds of thousands of people supporting Ron Paul for years — with hardly any of them noticing he is a racist, a republican (NOT a libertarian), and in it for the money!

    Criminalizing marijuana was a stupid idea – a huge waste of lives, money and time that could all have been put to far better use. Legalize and regulate!

  9. Here in Oregon the AG race was decided in the primary because there wasn’t a Republican candidate (!). Dwight Holton, a former federal prosecutor endorsed by most of law enforcement and both major newspapers, lost the election by 30 points, primarily for being against Oregon’s medicinal marijuana law and endorsing federal pot raids in the state.

    Times are changing. Let’s see how many politicians can change with them.

  10. m in El Paso says:

    Do you really think that the buckets of pac money dumped in Beto’s campaign & the myriad conservative, grey-haired Republicans & Ron Paul supporters that took Democratic primary ballots to vote for Beto really were bent on legalizing marijuana? I think they wanted to oust a good Democratic congressperson who had served his constituents well & who was endorsed by the AFL-CIO & AFSCME & every Democratic organization in El Paso.

  11. Juanita Jean says:

    m in El Paso, you could be right. Maybe you are. I’m often wrong. But what makes you think Beto is the only one who took PAC money?

    Look, I love Congressman Reyes and it took me two and half days to even write about it even though folks were bugging me to. It’s a tough one to lose. I’m just suggesting that Reyes waved the marijuana thing over Beto’s head and his hair did not catch fire.

  12. m in El Paso says:

    Sorry, JJ. You can see I’m still bitter.

  13. Juanita Jean says:

    M, Honey, it’s okay. I live in a county where we have a LaRouche Democrat winning the race for congress and I’m next door to a county who now has two idiots running for judge.

    You said nothing to apologize for. I feel bad for you. Losing is the pits.

  14. Corinne Sabo says:

    If the runoff the first time he won had been a little longer, Reyes would not have won that election.

  15. publius bolonius says:

    Legalize, regulate and tax.

  16. Mz Patti says:

    I lived in Cabo San Lucas for 5 years, roughly the same term as the current Presidente de Mexico, Calderon. He was sworn in, and immediately the drug enforcement became hardcore…. Federales and military both patrolling highways, streets, doing checks of cars, trucks all around. I lived about 10 miles north of Cabo, at the beach… the Federales got accustomed to my commuting into town regularly, and would just wave me thru in my Cherry Red Explorer, at thecheckpoint by the Shrine to Our Lady of Guadelupe, just outside of town. I’d smile and wave back… I didn’t fit their profile, and they could easily see into my SUV. There were, however, lots of folks pulled over, emptying all of the contents out of their cars, having drug sniffing dogs inside the trucks, checking underneath, and inside the engine hood.

    When driving the Baja, there are about a half dozen military checkpoints to get thru… serious-as-a-heart-attack checks with drug sniffing dogs and people in reflector sunshades and total head coverage to conceal identity, toting machine guns, tanks, bunkers with camo, nightmarish stuff Americans would never believe if the US did the same thing along the border. It looked like the news clips from Iraq. If you are driving South, they are checking for cash, gold, and weapons. If you are driving North… it’s all about checking for drugs. We drove the entire length of the Baja in a 14 ft boxtruck with our household in it, twice. Checkpoints weren’t much fun; but we didn’t really fit their profile for weapon smugglers… just a couple of old Gringos with Shih Tzus, clothes, and used household stuff. The US Border Patrol in San Diego really pissed me off when we came back into the US because they made me take my sewing machine out of the Mexican orange crate I had protecting it in the back of the truck… it was obviously just chocked full of vicious bug larvae that would ruin crops along the US side of the border..that and my ziplok bag of bananas and oranges behind the truck seat…

    On that trip back to the US, we had our rescued Mexican street dog, too… about 50 lbs and seriously territorial…. he totally lost it when he saw guys wearing black masks, helmets and machine guns coming up to the truck window, putting their hand inside to take the passports, poking around, looking under the truck, etc… 6 checkpoints worth… and then at the US border… Perro Bravo… Perro Mexicano. It always made me laugh; the Federales didn’t think it was very funny. Dulce doesn’t do well at Halloween either, for some reason.

    Most Americans do not realize that you cannot go into a Mexican Walmart and buy a shotgun and a box of shells. There are no gun shops in Mexico. About 95% of that weaponry the cartels are using comes from the US… the Mom and Pop Shops along the borders, the Army/Navy Surplus stores sell it, it gets smuggled INTO Mexico, to defend the routes INTO THE US to sell us illegal drugs. Business 101… Supply and Demand. Americans have a drug and gun problem, and need to put the blame for that mess squarely on our own shoulders, suck it up, fix it. Marijuana isn’t a moral issue. Cartel violence, drive by shootings, beheadings… THAT’s a moral issue. Maybe with time, the US can look at legalizing marijuana. What is happening now is simply stupid.

    Having lived in Colorado most of my adult life, and having visited recently, it was rather obvious that the new medicinal marijuana shops all over town have provided an interesting economic boost to the economy.