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Letter: Legalizing drugs would eliminate a lot of crime

Legalizing drugs would eliminate a lot of crime

It’s normal to think of drug legalization as radical. Drug illegality has been with us all of our lives, and we all know the harm caused by illegal drugs. Realizing one thing, though, demonstrates that the need to force this traffic aboveground is absolute.

Alcohol prohibition sought to stem an established market, but drug prohibition has been establishing its market, and very effectively.

Together they brought about the first, and next great growth opportunities for organized crime. Hoods are here from all over the world now to participate, as we fund wars and dictatorships through them. As law scrambles to cope with new substances it doesn’t yet cover, these vanish from corner stores and enter the underground flood, in supplies furnished by factories operating openly in China.

What gangsters can’t compete with is the open market. Here the drug trade becomes exposed to the forces of regulation and taxation, with everything else. What needs to be handled in clean, safe clinics can be. What needs to be sold behind the counter with a tax stamp will be.

The killers were livid when the first prohibition ended. It’s time to put the lid on this garbage can, too. Think of dealers looking for jobs.

Dan Hoffman