Pubdate: Fri, 15 Jan 2010
Source: Chattanooga Times Free Press (TN)
Copyright: 2010 Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.
Author: Robert Sharpe


Regarding your Jan. 11 editorial, drugs did not spawn Mexico's
organized crime networks. Just like alcohol prohibition gave rise to
Al Capone, drug prohibition created the violent drug-trafficking
organizations blamed for all the killings 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prohibition repealed in the U.S., liquor bootleggers no longer gun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
upsurge in violence only began after an anti-drug crackdown created a
power vacuum among competing cartels. From a political perspective,
Mexican President Felipe Calderon stands to benefit from the violence.

The drug war is perpetuated 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 prohibition funds
organized crime at home and terrorism abroad, which is then used to
justify increased 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

Robert Sharpe

Policy Analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington, D.C.
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