Pubdate: Mon, 27 Jun 2011
Source: New York Times (NY)
Copyright: 2011 The New York Times Company
Author: Terry Newson, Board Member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.


To the Editor:

Sylvia Longmire misses the mark in focusing on how legalizing
marijuana won't put drug cartels completely out of business
("Legalization Won't Kill the Cartels," Op-Ed, June 19).

Sure, some cartel members will continue selling other illicit wares
once marijuana is legalized, but since they currently earn about 60
percent of their profits from illegal marijuana sales, ending the
prohibition of that cash crop will seriously undercut their ability to
finance continued operations.

And removing such a significant chunk of the cartels' funding will
make it significantly easier for law enforcement to isolate and
destroy them. As a former border patrol officer once charged with
enforcing prohibition, I never dared dream of such success. Each
arrest only created a lucrative job opening for someone else to step
in and fill the insatiable demand for illegal drugs.

We can either keep going through an endless cycle of cartel bosses
brought to justice, or if we really want to reduce the violence, we
can legalize marijuana -- and other currently illegal drugs -- thereby
evaporating the profit motive that causes the carnage.


Granbury, Tex., June 20, 2011
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MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.