Thank you, columnist Tony Norman, for your incisive critique of the insane war on drugs ("Stop the Drug War Now, More Than Ever," March 24). Recently National Public Radio quoted a Mexican security expert affirming Mr. Norman's argument: "You are trying to fight the invisible hand of the market with the long arm of the law and historically the invisible hand wins."
Prohibition is the opposite of regulation. By prohibiting a "vice" that people want to indulge, be it gambling, tobacco, alcohol or any other intoxicant, the government simply hands control of that market to criminals.
Just how would we start regulating and taxing drugs like marijuana here in Pennsylvania? I would propose utilizing our much-maligned Liquor Control Board. The state is never going to relinquish its cash cow and it is starving for a new revenue stream. Complain all you will about the PLCB, but the state store system is designed to strictly control both the customer, the product and the revenue. It accomplishes its mission very well and thus would be the perfect vehicle to distribute and tax intoxicants, taking the market away from thugs and providing the cash to mitigate the inevitable damages. Just like we do now with booze.