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Letter- Best to legalize drugs

@fl:Dear Editor,

Last week 49 people were found decapitated and their hands and feet chopped off in Mexico.

Let that sink in because America is to blame.

There are serious consequences to our war on drugs. But you have been fooled into thinking the best way to solve the problem is prohibition. After 40 years I can tell you it has been a complete and utter failure. We both want the same ends. We are on the same side. It's just that your way of ending the drug problem has destroyed countless millions of American lives and mine gives hope to millions more at home and abroad suffering the unintended consequences of our laws.

Let me begin with the most startling facts: 1) America has a higher percentage of its population in prison than communist Russia during its' most oppressive height. 2) Every time you send a youth to prison for a non-violent drug offense you are sending them to criminal school and they come out far more dangerous to society. 3) The stigma attached to a drug conviction follows their entire working career and opportunities for gainful employment dwindle making them a further drag on society. 4) Drugs are easier to get in our schools today than alcohol -- just ask a kid.

The war on drugs has allowed criminal drug cartels to thrive and you now know the consequences. Mexican authorities do not believe the 49 were gang members but rather immigrants caught in the human trafficking route of another drug gang.

All of this is a predictable consequence of thinking prohibition is the solution. I am not advocating that stores start stocking starter kits for heroin but if the most widely sold drug (marijuana) were legal and regulated exactly like alcohol we could at least keep it out of the hands of our children. The only people willing to sell pot today are people already willing to break the law so selling to your kids really just becomes a formality. No prohibition law is going to change that dynamic.

If you want to end the drug gangs and the terror in Mexico and America, if you really care about our country's future, if you really truly want to help children; tax it, regulate it and let America use the tax proceeds to fight this war the way it should be fought, as a medical issue.

But please don't act like some of that blood isn't on your hands.

Robert Burke, Hudson