Pubdate: Mon, 27 Jun 2011 Source: New York Times (NY) Copyright: 2011 The New York Times Company Contact: http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/lettertoeditor.html Website: http://www.nytimes.com/ Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/298 Author: Nickolas Evans, Fellow with the Drug Policy Alliance. SHOULD MARIJUANA BE LEGALIZED AND REGULATED? To the Editor: Sylvia Longmire is probably right that the legalization of marijuana isn't the silver bullet to end the carnage in Mexico. Yet employing economics where brute military force has failed could still be a step in the right direction. Moreover, undermining cartels is just one benefit to regulating marijuana as we do alcohol and tobacco. Currently, marijuana is sold in an enormous underground market. To maximize profits and foster addiction, cartels routinely lace marijuana with substances like phencyclidine, or PCP, and methamphetamine. Regulated distribution could help ensure that marijuana isn't combined with dangerous substances. It could also allow regulators to require active-ingredient listings for marijuana. Eliminating drug cartels would be ideal. But taking any slice of their profits is a good idea, especially if we can make a highly consumed commodity like marijuana safer in the process. NICKOLAS EVANS Los Angeles, June 20, 2011 - --- MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.