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Drugs prohibition is the real problem

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With alcohol prohibition repealed in the US, liquor bootleggers no longer gun each other down in drive-by shootings.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

Box 59181

Washington DC 20012


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