Pubdate: Thu, 12 Jun 2008
Source: Taos News, The (NM)
Copyright: The Taos News 2008
Author: Robert Sharpe


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With alcohol prohibition repealed in the U.S., liquor bootleggers no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.


MPA policy analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington, D.C.