Pubdate: Wed, 20 Jan 2010
Source: Embassy (Canada)
Copyright: 2010 Hill Times Publishing Inc.
Author: Robert Sharpe


Drugs did not spawn Mexico's organized crime networks (RE: "Time for
Canada to get up to speed on Mexico's realities," Jan. 13). Just like
alcohol prohibition gave rise to Al Capone in the US, drug prohibition
created the violent drug-trafficking organizations blamed for all the
killings in Mexico. With alcohol prohibition repealed, liquor
bootleggers no longer gun each other down in drive-by shootings.

It's worth noting that 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. Prime
Minister Stephen Harper has proven particularly adept at confusing the
drug war's collateral damage with drugs themselves.

Drug prohibition funds organized 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, one that policymakers should pursue.

Robert Sharpe, MPA

Policy Analyst,

Common Sense for Drug Policy

Washington, DC
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