Pubdate: Thu, 23 Mar 2000
Source: Washington Times (DC)
Copyright: 2000 News World Communications, Inc.
Authors: Robert Sharpe
Note: Title supplied by MAP editor


The proposed U.S. aid package to Colombia is a colossal waste of tax
dollars ("U.S. aid could fuel strife in Colombia," World, March 21). Even
if every last plant in Latin America were killed by the toxic herbicides
drug warriors spray, American youths would continue to get high. As long as
there is a demand, there will be a supply. Cut off the flow of cocaine, and
domestic methamphetamine production will boom. Thanks to past successes at
eradicating marijuana farms in Latin America, the corresponding increase in
domestic pot cultivation has made marijuana America's No. 1 cash crop.
Young people who cannot buy pot have been known to use a host of deadly yet
legal chemicals to get high. I find it frustrating that the supposed
champions of the free market in Congress cannot understand how basic supply
and demand dynamics make the drug war futile. At a time in our history when
record numbers of Americans are using psychoactive drugs such as Prozac and
Ritalin, it amazes me that we still have politicians claiming that a
"drug-free" America is possible.

No amount of tax dollars spent eradicating plants in Latin America is going
to make the United States "drug free." Nor will funding civil war in
Colombia win the drug war. For the same reasons that alcohol prohibition
failed, the drug war has been doomed from the start.

ROBERT SHARPE Students for Sensible Drug Policy George Washington
University Washington
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MAP posted-by: Keith Brilhart