Pubdate: Thu, 09 Jun 2011
Source: Orange County Register, The (CA)
Copyright: 2011 The Orange County Register
Author: Maneck Bhujwala


Thank you for your editorial, "Drug war is unwinnable" [June 8]. We
have had lots of experience in the United States with making alcoholic
beverages illegal, leading to the creation of organized crime gangs
who controlled the supply of bootleg liquor and the resulting violence.

I personally lived through a short period of alcohol prohibition in
Mumbai, India, when instead of buying alcoholic beverages from a legal
liquor store, one could buy it from illegal suppliers at almost every
street corner. The ingredients used to make bootleg liquor were not
controlled and often lead to food poisoning and death. Organized crime
gangs controlled the trade and paid politicians to keep prohibition
laws on the books.

Many responsible leaders that the Register mentioned in its editorial,
as well as policemen like Joseph D. McNamara, former chief of police
of San Jose, Calif. (currently research fellow at the Hoover
Institution and an expert on international drug control policies),
have seen the futility, expense and violence of the war on drugs and
advocated the decriminalization of drugs. We can use the money saved
from the war on drugs, the resulting reduction in court and prison
costs of incarcerating drug users, and the tax revenue from
legal-controlled drug sales, to create jobs, educate the public and
provide treatment to drug addicts.

Maneck Bhujwala

- ---
MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.