Pubdate: Mon, 27 Jun 2011 Source: New York Times (NY) Copyright: 2011 The New York Times Company Contact: http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/lettertoeditor.html Website: http://www.nytimes.com/ Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/298 Author: Terry Newson, Board Member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. SHOULD MARIJUANA BE LEGALIZED AND REGULATED? 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. TERRY NELSON Granbury, Tex., June 20, 2011 - --- MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.