Letter: Drugs and gangs go hand in hand - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

Letter: Drugs and gangs go hand in hand

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Posted: Thursday, January 5, 2012 1:21 pm

I’m writing about Bill Richardson’s Dec. 30 guest commentary: “Tempe must try to cut off drug cartel tentacles.”

Drugs and gangs.  Gangs and drugs.  They seem to go hand in hand.

From 1920 to 1933, alcohol and gangs went hand in hand. Back then alcohol was completely unregulated, untaxed and controlled by criminal gangs — just like meth and other recreational drugs are today.

If meth were legally available in local pharmacies for pennies per dose, would criminals gangs be involved with meth? No. Would meth users be constantly seeking new meth users to pay for their habit? No.

If we re-legalized all our illegal drugs so that they could be sold by licensed and regulated businesses for pennies per dose, would this eliminate our drug problems? No. Will we ever be able to eliminate our drug problems? No. However, doing so would substantially reduce the crime rate and increase public safety.

Regulated and controlled drugs would be of known purity, known potency and known quality — which would make them very much safer than today’s black-market drugs.

But what message would we send to children if we re-legalized all illegal drugs so they could be sold in licensed, regulated and taxed business establishments? The same message we send to children today when we allow products such as alcohol and tobacco to be sold in licensed, regulated and taxed business establishments.

A free country’s government cannot protect its adult citizens from themselves. A free country’s government has no right to attempt to do so.

Back in 2007 I had a similar letter published in the East Valley Tribune regarding a meth bust that involved 31 drug cartel members. As Yogi Berra would say, “It’s deja vu all over again.”

Kirk Muse


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