Ethical living? Stop taking cocaine

More than likely these are the same well-read folks who buy fair trade coffee, pooh-pooh Starbucks and SUV drivers and refuse to shop in chains that they think use sweatshop labour. The Observer quite rightly points out how ‘consumers …should reflect more deeply on the impact their habit has on people around the world’.
‘Huge quantities of cocaine continue to be consumed across Britain, often by people who pride themselves on their ethical lifestyles. There is nothing fashionable about cocaine and users should remember the dreadful impact it has on the lives of millions of people in distant countries. Cocaine might now be relatively cheap, but for those whose path it crosses the price is still devastatingly high.’
As both Presidents Calderon of Mexico and Uribe of Columbia continue their military assault on the lethal narco-networks running through their countries, little media attention is spent on the source of demand for the illegal product, whose industry has displaced thousands and kills scores of people.
Calderon is fighting narcotraffick in Mexico with the military, but it is a battle doomed to failure without the eradication or mediation of demand coming from the world’s richest countries. As capitalism continues to dominate, so will the most fundamental forces of supply and demand continue to determine this battle.