Pubdate: Sun, 19 Mar 2006
Source: Denver Post (CO)
Copyright: 2006 The Denver Post Corp
Author: Thomas K. Carberry


Re: "Drug war trumps port safety," March 12 Perspective article.

Mike Krause makes valid points in his article on the drug war and port
safety. We lost the war on drugs the day we started it. We should let
the free market run the drug trade. This would benefit Third World
countries like Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru and Afghanistan. At
the same time it would generate massive tax revenues in the United
States and eliminate the financial drain and human misery caused by
the war on drugs.

Taking a low estimate of 500 metric tons of cocaine coming to America
each year, that comes to 500 million grams of cocaine, before cutting
it for retail sale. Apply a low price of $100 to each gram and you get
$50 billion a year for the traffickers and zero for the government. If
we legalized drugs, the price would drop, but with high taxes like on
cigarettes, we could generate massive revenues.

Despite decades of drug war hysteria, illegal drugs pose much less of
a health risk than the two great American drugs, cigarettes and alcohol.

We can't legislate morality. People have used mind-altering drugs for
thousands of years and will continue to use them, no matter how
harshly we punish such use.

Thomas K. Carberry, Denver
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