Pubdate: Tue, 28 Oct 2008
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Copyright: 2008 Los Angeles Times
Author: Stephen Downing


Re "Too dangerous to ignore," Opinion, Oct. 22

Pamela Starr's warning is compelling. Mexico is very close to becoming
a failed state.

Her comments on the bloodshed in Mexico -- enabled by the U.S. --
should not stop at gun-running. It is a very small portion of our
population that is spending billions annually to purchase the illicit
drugs that keep the cartels in business.

Don't we really need to get a conversation started about that?
Wouldn't it be a better world if we just gave our brain-addled addicts
the dope they wanted -- along with a little rehab help when they ask
for it -- rather than allow them to continue to support the carnage,
corruption and massive bureaucracies that accompany "drug

Imagine the possible consequences: courtroom backlogs and the need for
prison expansion would be eased; foreign aid packages might be cut;
law enforcement budgets would likely shrink; and terrorist
organizations would lose an important source of funding. Wouldn't all
that be an equitable trade for regulating rather than continuing to
outlaw drug use?

Stephen Downing

Palm Desert
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