From: Huff Post Politics
The mass smuggling of cigarettes in Paraguay offers an important lesson for those looking to legalization as a panacea. Even with a product that can be bought legally and just about anywhere, smugglers are ready to cash in on price differences and more than a few smokers are willing to buy from them. A recent State Department report on the global illicit tobacco trade explains how running smokes serves as a gateway drug to more nefarious activities (humans, weapons, drugs, antiquities, diamonds, and counterfeit goods) and is a significant threat to national security. Regardless of what’s being smuggled, authorities on both sides of Latin American borders need to enforce customs controls and stop smuggling to make sure the legal trade, if there is one, doesn’t get undercut.