Pubdate: Tue, 13 Feb 2001
Source: Corpus Christi Caller-Times (TX)
Section: Letters to the Editor, Pg A8
Copyright: 2001 Corpus Christi Caller-Times
Address: P.O. Box 9136, Corpus Christi, TX 78469-9136
Author: Robert Sharpe


Regarding the Feb. 4 article on the drug war being waged in Colombia, Plan 
Colombia could very well spread both civil war and coca production 
throughout the region. Communist guerilla movements do not originate in a 
vacuum. U.S. tax dollars would be better spent addressing the underlying 
causes of civil strife rather than applying overwhelming military force to 
attack the symptoms. Forcing Colombia's FARC guerrillas to the bargaining 
table at gunpoint will not remedy Colombia's societal inequities.

The U.S. is not doing the Colombian people any favors by funding civil war. 
Nor are Americans being protected from drugs. Cut off the flow of cocaine 
and domestic methamphetamine production will boom to meet the demand for 
cocaine-like drugs. Rather than waste resources attempting to overcome 
immutable laws of supply and demand, policymakers should look to the 
lessons learned from America's disastrous experiment with alcohol prohibition.

Drug laws fuel crime and corruption, which are then used to justify 
increased drug-war spending. It's time to end this madness and start 
treating all substance abuse, legal or otherwise, as the public health 
problem it is.

Robert Sharpe
Program Officer
The Lindesmith Center - Drug Policy Foundation
Washington, D.C.
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