This guy does. Or he did, until he was arrested.
An alleged leader of the Norte de Valle cartel, he controlled the way recreational drugs were manufactured, packaged and distributed. He controlled the purity of the drugs, and decided what cutting agents were used to dilute the product. He decided how to label the product, or whether to leave off a label altogether. He decided where to sell it, and who to sell it to.
Montoya decided absolutely everything about recreational drug regulation, from the start to the finish. He was, in every way that it can possibly matter, the head of the FDA of recreational drugs.
The American drug regulatory system had no control over him whatsoever. Because the American drug regulatory system likes to operate as if it’s critically important to put child-proof caps on Tylenol but totally irrelevant to consider how drugs like cocaine are packaged and delivered.
Office of National Drug Control Policy head John Walters is quoted in Monday’s news stories as saying “Colombia’s capture of cocaine kingpin Diego Montoya shows what can be accomplished by a government that is relentless, focused and skilled in the effort to dismantle threats to its democracy.”
But what the arrest of Montoya really shows is the astounding impotence of our government when we spend $700 million dollars a year on “interdiction” in Columbia, yet leave the actual regulation of drugs entirely in the hands of gangsters.
Diego Montoya was the one who had the power, not us. Diego Montoya could run his business in absolutely any way he saw fit. And now that Diego Montoya has been arrested, the power of the cartel has simply shifted to Wilber Varela, who is still at large and is said to live in Venezuela.
Until we have a regulated market around drugs, folks like Montoya and Varela will continue to run the show. What we can’t bring ourselves to regulate, they’ll regulate for us. Guaranteed.