Conor Friedersdorf points to recent drug violence in Brazil and Mexico in his call for ending prohibition in the US:

Rio’s favelas [slums] date back to Brazil's abolition of slavery in the 19th century. The causes of poverty, crime, and dysfunction in the city are too myriad to list. It is nevertheless true that American demand for illegal narcotics bankrolls murderers, rapists, paramilitary terror squads, and all manner of other ills in the country. Absent the enormous sum our citizens pour into a black market that is largely of our creation, countless Brazilian lives would be better, Rio would be safer, and we’d all be better off.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.