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Letters: Ending a deadly drug war

May 31, 2012
  • Mexican soldiers flank Daniel "El Loco" Ramirez during his presentation to the news media in Mexico City this month. Ramirez is believed to be a member of the Zetas drug cartel, which authorities suspect of dumping 49 mutilated bodies near Monterrey.
Mexican soldiers flank Daniel "El Loco" Ramirez during his… (Alexandre Meneghini / Associated…)

Re "Cartels push drug violence to new depths," May 28

This article has only one line about drugs heading north to the U.S. Nearly all of the wealth generated by the drug trade comes from Americans, so in a real sense, we share responsibility for those 50,000 deaths over the last six years. The number is similar to all the American deaths we had in the Vietnam War.

We need to escalate the dialogue about legalizing drugs in our country, as Portugal did in 2001. That country reduced the number of drug addicts and its prison population. Money is now spent on rehabilitation, not on prisons.

We must stop what we are doing. "If what we are doing isn't working, let us do more of it" is insanity.

Don Hanley

Vista

How many more deaths must we endure before we take the only logical step to end the drug wars once and for all?

The solution may not be pretty, but it is practical. Instead of useless attempts at interdiction, we should buy all the drugs available from the cartels in exchange for legalizing the production of them. Cut out the middle man — and ultimately the users — by taking all the drugs off the market legally. The drug producers make their profits, and we save billions.

The drug lords are in it for the money, and if we make it cheaper and easier for them to make their profits, we would probably be able to take most of the drug supply off the market. Everyone is a winner, including the addicts.

William D. Robinson

San Clemente

What is happening in Mexico is not only disastrous for Mexicans but for all of us in the United States and elsewhere. The puny effort to stop the flow of drugs north or guns and money south is a disaster. Violence has already spilled into some border towns and will undoubtedly continue moving north until we awaken to the catastrophe.

That there have been about 50,000 drug-war-related deaths still surprises our otherwise well-informed citizens. This is a much faster rate than the Vietnam War at its peak, and the pace is quickening for reasons well documented in The Times' fine series, "Mexico under siege."

Warren Evan Larson

Sunland

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