Tony Newman, Drug Policy Alliance - New York
Drug war doesn't protect children The defenders of the failed war on drugs say that we can't discuss alternatives to prohibition because it would "send the wrong message to the kids."
Although supporters of the status quo claim the war on drugs is to protect our children, a disturbing USA TODAY article shows that it has the opposite effect and leads to Mexican school kids living in a war zone ("Drug war spreads violence, fear in Mexico," News, Dec. 22).
Just what does the drug war get us or the people of Mexico?
U.S. prisons are exploding with non-violent drug offenders, thousands die from drug prohibition violence along the border and drugs remain as plentiful and easy as ever to get.
On the Mexican side of the border, gory tales of the drug war's consequences dominate the daily headlines. This year, more Mexicans have died due to drug prohibition than have American service members in Iraq since the war started. Mexicans and Americans should question whether President Felipe Calderand President Bush's "war on drugs" is worth it.
Although there are some compelling reasons drugs should remain illegal, we should at least begin an honest discussion about the root causes of the violence and the range of options to deal with the harm of drugs and their prohibition. It is clear that the strategy of the past 40 years is not working.