Pubdate: Sat, 23 Jun 2001
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Copyright: 2001 Los Angeles Times
Author: Merilie Robertson
Bookmark: (Substance Abuse and Crime
Prevention Act)


California's opportunity to model a positive way to deal with drug
abuse could be hampered by lack of funding ("Flood of Drug Diversion
Cases Feared," June 18). Does it make sense that our federal
government is spending billions ($1.3 billion to Colombia under the
Clinton administration and a proposed $1 billion to the Andean region
by the Bush administration) for eradication of coca at its source. So
far, most of this money is being used to provide helicopters,
chemicals and training to the military for the aerial spraying of coca

On a recent Witness for Peace delegation to Colombia, we heard
shocking stories of the destruction of legitimate crops, pollution of
water sources, skin rashes, hair loss, death of farm animals and
poisoning of commercial fish ponds by this aerial chemical attack.
Colombians said to us: "The drug problem is in your country. As long
as there is a demand for cocaine and big money to be made in
trafficking it, there will be people who grow coca."

Merilie Robertson, Canoga Park
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