Pubdate: Mon, 13 Sep 2010
Source: Irish Examiner (Ireland)
Copyright: 2010 Robert Sharpe
Author: Robert Sharpe


IN response to Ryle Dwyer's column headlined 'El Chapo -- the Mexican
drugs czar whose influence we should all fear' (September 4), it
should be noted that drugs did not spawn Mexico's organised crime networks.

Just as alcohol prohibition gave rise to Al Capone in the US, it was
drug prohibition that created the violent drug-trafficking
organisations behind all the killings in Mexico.

With alcohol prohibition repealed in the US, liquor bootleggers no
longer gun each other down in drive-by shootings. 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.

US and British politicians have proven particularly adept at confusing
the drug war's collateral damage.

Drug prohibition funds organised 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. Reforming harmful drug laws, however, is an
option that policymakers should pursue.

Robert Sharpe

Policy Analyst

Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington, DC 
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