Pubdate: Wed, 04 Jul 2001
Source: Tampa Tribune (FL)
Copyright: 2001, The Tribune Co.
Author: John Chase
Bookmark: (Cocaine)


Regarding "Cocaine trial ends with split verdict" (Florida Metro, June 30):

If you think it is good that "authorities have so far stopped 80 tons of 
cocaine with a market value of $1.6 billion from entering the United 
States," you are wrong on two counts.

First, the measure of a good drug bust is an increase in street price. 
Since street prices have been falling steadily for 10 years, we must 
conclude that drug interdiction has failed.

Second, this failure is a blessing. Higher drug prices drive off casual 
users, who are no problem to society anyhow, and make addicts resort to 
more property crime to buy at the higher price.

If this sounds odd to you, welcome to the world of drug prohibition, where 
U.S. official policy is to spend taxpayer money to fight an illegal drug 
market that would not exist were it not for that policy.

Don't expect a solution to this craziness to come from the same Congress 
that continues to fund it. Instead, look to the Swiss, the Danes and the 
Germans, all beginning to back off from U.S. anti-drug policy.

John Chase

Palm Harbor
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