By Asa Hutchinson
Special to CNN
Editor's note: Asa Hutchinson is former Director of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and served as the Under Secretary for Border and Transportation Security at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/04/16/intv.hutchinson.asa.art.jpg caption= "Asa Hutchinson is former Director of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration."]
When it comes to the debate on legalization of marijuana, we can all have confidence in the greatness of our democracy. Ultimately the voters decide the direction of our country. Thus far there is no evidence that the public is in any mood to legalize marijuana or other currently illegal drugs.
In Arkansas, a few years back, a statewide ballot initiative could not even get on the ballot because the proponents could not garner enough signatures. Nationwide, recent ballot initiatives have focused on medical marijuana or enforcement policy.
The advocates of legalization are trying to chip away on the fringes of the legalization debate but they know there is not a sufficient popular movement for legalization. Parents are in no mood to make another harmful drug more accessible and socially acceptable for the youth.
The current argument is that legalization is the right way to solve the cartel violence in Mexico. I disagree.
If you accept that argument then we should legalize cocaine to reduce the cartel violence in Colombia. That is not the right logic and the violence will continue. The only thing legalization will accomplish is to increase the use of harmful drugs in the United States. The cartels will just move to another illegal drug to make their cash and if there is not a current market for the drug, then they will work to create that market.
On the show today, Neil Franklin did a great job and is a terrific advocate for his sincerely held views. I hope we can all keep this debate at the level the American people expect and deserve.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Asa Hutchinson.