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Opinion

Readers React: Blame the meth-fueled homicide epidemic in Tijuana on drug prohibition

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Officers from a specialized Tijuana police unit frisk people for drugs and firearms in red light district of the city’s Zona Norte on Dec. 10.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: We tried a ban on alcohol 100 years ago. In 1933, recognizing that Prohibition was a colossal failure and that it enormously enriched criminal enterprises, we amended the Constitution to repeal the ban.

The war on drugs, whether in the U.S. or Mexico, is an even greater failure. Even if you assume that there would be many unfortunate deaths from meth overdoses, the consequences of legalization can’t be as bad as the violence in Tijuana.

In contrast to recreational drugs, we have not banned cigarettes, but instead restricted advertising and educated the public. Consequently, less than 15% of the American adults smoke today versus more than 40% in the 1960s.

The solution to the drug problem is similar: Legalize drugs (to be sold by the government with no positive marketing), advertise heavily against their use and provide all the treatment needed for addicts.

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Richard Stithem, Redondo Beach

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To the editor: Did anybody catch the irony of your pro-open border articles, letters and opinion pieces and this horrendous homicide problem in Tijuana?

Do the math. That city averaged almost seven killings a day in 2018.

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If there were no border barriers, Tijuana’s problem would quickly become America’s problem. The cartels could easily hand their murderous drug trade over the the street gangs of San Diego, Los Angeles and cities north, south and east.

To think otherwise is so naive.

Jim Rahm, Chatsworth

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