Pubdate: Sat, 14 May 2011
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Page: A16, Lead LTE, Boxed, below related photo
Copyright: 2011 Ralph Givens
Author: Ralph Givens


Re "Crossing borders," Opinion, May 8

Ruben Martinez's pleas for drug cartels to end their violence will
fall on ears as deaf as those of Al Capone during Prohibition.

The thing that stopped the booze barons was ending Prohibition. Liquor
that sold for top dollar suddenly became an ordinary commodity that
did not generate enough income to keep the mobsters' huge operations
going. Bootleggers disappeared, replaced by honest businessmen who
obeyed the law.

Once we realize that cocaine and heroin are agricultural commodities
worth very little in a free market, the solution to cartel violence
becomes obvious. What cannot be done with armies of police can be done
easily with the stroke of a pen.

Mexican leaders know that it is the U.S. drug war that fuels cartel
violence. The sooner we end drug prohibition, the sooner we will see a
tremendous reduction in crime here and south of the border.

Ralph Givens

Daly City, Calif. 
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