Pubdate: Tue, 23 May 2000
Source: Contra Costa Times (CA)
Copyright: 2000 Contra Costa Newspapers Inc.
Address: 2640 Shadelands Drive, Walnut Creek, CA 94598
Author: Matthew Erickson


The drug war was a lost cause to begin with. The reason is not
necessarily the incompetence of our drug-fighting forces, nor any
special evasiveness of the drug lords, but the human element. The
essence of human spirit compromised the effort before it even started.

By nature, people are greedy, power-hungry and easily manipulated. For
those that are corrupt, dealing with such people is a way of life;
that's how they make a killing. The people sent to crack down on the
drug trafficking are not incorruptible.

Everyone has a price. People can be made to look the other way, even
if morals or ethics are a concern. This is something the drug lords
know well.

This is not to say that all our drug forces are corrupt, or all
humanity. Nor that we should stop the effort to crack down on drug
trafficking. All it means is that the cause of our failure to stem the
tide of drugs is a result of simple humanity.

Besides, if we were to ever stop the flow of drugs from foreign
countries entirely, it would create an influx of people to the United
States who would make and distribute it themselves, like the
Prohibition Era. We are in a Catch-22 situation that is likely never
going to be resolved. All we can hope for is that eventually it can be
contained long enough so we can finally destroy the craving at its
source, our inner soul.

Matthew Erickson,
San Ramon
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