Legalizing marijuana is one way to fight Mexican drug lords

Wednesday, August 18, 2010; A14

The Aug. 15 editorial "Mexico's grim accounting" failed to mention the fundamental problem with trying to defeat the country's drug gangs. In a free society, the state cannot defeat the laws of supply and demand.

As long as the United States' drug policies ensure that billions of dollars will flow each year to the most vicious dealers, the United States will fail in its attempts to close the border with Mexico, the governments of Mexico and the United States will fail in their attempts to protect their citizens from drug-related violence, and civil authority will erode in both countries.

The first practical step in defeating Mexican drug lords is to legalize marijuana, the smuggling of which provides the biggest single source of their revenue. Then we need policies that deal realistically with the demand for truly dangerous drugs.

Steve Carrier, Bethesda

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