Pubdate: Mon, 16 Mar 2009
Source: Metrowest Daily News (MA)
Copyright: 2009 MetroWest Daily News
Author: Ralph Givens


Re: "Legalization won't stop Mexico's drug wars" (March  11):,

Jay Ambrose needs to study some economics. The law of  supply and 
demand in particular. The only reason  marijuana sells for more than 
its weight in gold is  that it is illegal. In a legal market, 
marijuana would  sell for the same price as corn flakes or tofu. 
Likewise for heroin and cocaine.

Plant-based drugs are easy and cheap to produce and  without 
prohibition it would be impossible to make  billions trafficking 
them. The mark up on heroin is  thousands to one. For a few pennies 
outlaws can reap  many dollars. In a legal market those huge profits 
will vanish.

Marijuana may be all but legal in a dozen states, but  the 
restrictions on growing and selling cannabis keep  the drug cartels 
humming along. Decriminalization  preserves the bootleg drug market 
for criminals.

In a legal market the outlaws will vanish because they  cannot 
support a huge gang structure selling cheap  agricultural products.

If we legalize drugs the cartels will be out of  business in a few 
days. How do I know? Well that's what  happened when Alcohol 
Prohibition was repealed and we  haven't had a shoot out or a bombing 
over a beer route  since 1933.

Mexico will not object to ending the drug war because  on April 28, 
2006, Mexico's Congress approved a bill  decriminalizing possession 
of marijuana, ecstasy,  cocaine and heroin for personal use. The Bush 
administration used intense diplomatic pressure to stop  Mexico from 
relaxing their drug laws.

RALPH GIVENS, Daly City, Calif.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom