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The free market giveth; the government taketh away.

While the last century has seem life expectancies rise worldwide with a clear positive correlation to economic freedom, in Mexico, male life expectancy is now dropping thanks to tens of thousands of brutal murders—with some victims beheaded, dismembered or assaulted with ice picks—directly resulting from the failed war on drugs:

Despite six decades of increase in life expectancy for Mexicans, thanks to the introduction of health care reform and improvements in quality of life, between 2005 and 2010 life expectancy for Mexican men between the ages of 15 and 50 across the country fell an average of .3 years. This decline is being attributed to drug war-related homicides, according to a new study from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, which was published in the journal Health Affairs on Tuesday. […]

The greatest drop in life expectancy was see in northern Mexico, where the drug war is at its most intense. In northern Chihuahua, Sinaloa and Durango states, life expectancy for men fell by up to three years between 2005 and 2010.

This is shocking but perhaps not surprising news, and it’s just one more reason of many to end the drug war now.

And though our neighbors in Mexico suffer greater drug violence than we do here in the States, the war on drugs puts Americans in danger, too. In the U.S., scarce prison space and police efforts are often devoted to non-violent drug violations while real criminals walk free.

Meanwhile, just as alcohol prohibition caused violent crime to increase by criminalizing a high-demand industry, so the drug war increases violent crime rates.

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