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Clinton's message

March 30, 2009

Re "Clinton: U.S. shares blame for Mexico ills," March 26

Hillary Clinton says it is "our insatiable demand for illegal drugs" that fuels the drug trade and violence. In reality, it is not marijuana and the millions of Americans who use it that cause the violence -- it is drug prohibition that makes the plant more valuable than gold and creates a profit motive that people are willing to kill for.

It would be more honest and accurate to blame U.S. drug-war policies pushed by her colleagues in Washington.

Although there may be compelling reasons why some drugs should remain illegal, we should at least begin an honest discussion about the root causes of the violence and the options in dealing with the harms of drug use and drug prohibition. It is clear that the strategy of the last 40 years is not working.

Tony Newman

New York

The writer is director of media relations for the Drug Policy Alliance

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For a start, shut down the gun manufacturers and gun shows in the United States.

Cheryl Kohr

Redondo Beach

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