Stop the violence by legalizing drugs

Re "13 die as gun battles jolt Tijuana" and "New target in drug supply chain," April 27

The Times featured two articles that show drug prohibition is a failed policy and should be rectified immediately. Prohibition creates enormously profitable business opportunities for drug dealers -- who are willing to bribe and kill to protect their profits. Eradication efforts in one locale inevitably lead to suppliers moving their operations. Probably half of the U.S population has tried marijuana, and most of us have survived. Why not face reality? Let's legalize and tax illicit drugs as we do alcohol and tobacco.

Why don't we think about harm reduction instead of following a policy that leads to death and destruction -- not to mention lost tax revenue? At a time when California is facing a budget crisis, why not allow cultivation and distribution of marijuana? Let's make use of the tax revenue instead of enriching criminals.

Steve Persky

Santa Monica

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