Pubdate: Tue, 15 May 2012
Source: San Antonio Express-News (TX)
Copyright: 2012 San Antonio Express-News
Author: Joseph Dunwoody


Consider our war on drugs from a historical perspective: We no longer 
put distributors of wine, beer and hard liquor in jail. Alcoholism is 
treated as a health issue, not a criminal offense. We've come a long 
way from Prohibition, the days in which alcohol consumption was 
demonized as strongly as marijuana is today.

Did Prohibition work? A resounding "no" because unenforceable drug 
laws became the cure that was worse than the disease. Today, Mexico 
has become a 1920s surrogate of the United States, only more violent. 
As long as demand for an illegal drug exists, a seller will be there 
to make a profit. How, then, do we eliminate the money flowing to 
cartels, drug gangs and mafia-like syndicates in Mexico? We could 
begin by legalizing marijuana, a substance which many Americans view 
as no more dangerous than a legal and socially acceptable round of drinks.

The use of military force in Mexico is simply not working; nor have 
the best efforts of the DEA stopped the flow of drugs. Somehow, we 
must find a way to help Mexico end the horrors and violence in that 
besieged and suffering nation. Significant change, however, will not 
occur until we treat addiction and drug use as health issues, not 
criminal offenses.

Joseph Dunwoody
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