Monday, February 04, 2008


LTE to Washington Post, Feb. 2nd, 2008

Craig Wolf, president of the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America, wrote that unlicensed, unregulated alcohol kills [letters, Jan. 17]. He noted the deaths of people in other countries from alcohol that is homemade, counterfeit or tainted, offering a contrast with the situation in the United States, where alcohol has been regulated since Prohibition ended in 1933.

Another lifesaving benefit of regulation that Mr. Wolf did not mention is the end of violence related to alcohol prohibition. When alcohol consumption was illegal in this country we had Al Capone and shootouts in the streets. Today, no one dies over the sale of Budweiser.

The failure and harms of alcohol prohibition are clear. Why have we not learned our lessons when it comes to other drugs, such as marijuana? Tainted drugs, mass incarceration and rampant violence are not a byproduct of the cannabis plant but of the prohibition that creates a profit motive people are willing to kill for.

Director of Media Relations
Drug Policy Alliance
New York


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