Pubdate: Tue, 26 Aug 2008
Source: Wall Street Journal (US)
Page: A20
Copyright: 2008 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Author: Standiford Helm, II, M.D.


Regarding Mary Anastasia O'Grady's "Mexico Pays the Price of
Prohibition" (Americas, Aug. 18): I am very involved in the effort to
ensure that controlled substances are delivered only to those who need
them and not diverted to abuse and unauthorized use. Having said that,
it is obvious to me that the current drug laws have created a
situation where Mexico is basically in a state of insurrection. I've
not previously seen the linkage between our drug laws and the threat
to Mexico's democracy made at this level.

While no one wants a libertine America with unfettered drug use,
Americans should realize the importance to the U.S. of a Mexico with
strong democratic institutions.

I hope that Ms. O'Grady's article starts a national discussion
regarding our drug laws, whether they are achieving our desired goals
and whether they are having any unintended consequences, here or abroad.

Standiford Helm, II, M.D.

Medical Director

Pacific Coast Pain Management Center

Laguna Hills, Calif.
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