Change is needed in our drug laws. Prohibition of alcohol preceded the Great Depression and fed a criminal world with the proceeds of illegal alcohol and a culture of murder, intimidation, and violence. Drug prohibition and the war on drugs has preceded this great depression and brought violence and money to Mexican and Colombian drug cartels as well as financed terrorists in Afghanistan and elsewhere. Add to this the incarceration of hundreds of thousands of drug prisoners at a cost of billions to our prison budgets and the loss of productive citizens. Over 850,000 arrests for marijuana in 2007!

Benson is the lead singer of Asleep at the Wheel. He lives in Austin.

(On the Web: similar ideas from El Paso city councilman Beto O’Rourke and Bobby Byrd, the co-founder of Cinco Puntos Press.)

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