Pubdate: Thu, 12 Jun 2008 Source: Taos News, The (NM) Copyright: The Taos News 2008 Contact: http://www.taosnews.com/ Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/3001 Referenced: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v08/n579/a05.html Author: Robert Sharpe REFORM HARMFUL DRUG LAWS Mike Jones' June 7 op-ed ('Another example of addiction to the war on drugs') was right on target. Drugs did not spawn Mexico's organized crime net-works. Just like alcohol prohi-bition gave rise to Al Capone, drug prohibition created the violent drug-trafficking orga-nizations blamed for all the killing in Mexico. With alcohol prohibition repealed in the U.S., liquor bootleggers no longer gun each other down in drive-by shootings. It's worth noting that Mexico's recent upsurge in violence began after an anti-drug crackdown created a power vacuum among com-peting cartels. From a political perspective, Mexican President Felipe Calderon stands to ben-efit from the violence. The drug war is perpetuat-ed by the mainstream media's complicity in refusing to put so-called "drug-related" crime in context. U.S. politicians have proven particularly adept at confusing the drug war's collateral damage with drugs themselves. Drug prohibi-tion funds organized crime at home and terrorism abroad, which is then used to justify increase drug war spending. It's time to end this madness. Whether we like it or not, drugs are here to stay. Changing human nature is not an option. We've been trying that for decades. Reforming harmful drug laws, however, is an option, one that Congress should pursue. ROBERT SHARPE MPA policy analyst Common Sense for Drug Policy Washington, D.C.