Pubdate: Wed, 02 May 2001
Source: Times Record News (TX)
Copyright: 2001 The E.W. Scripps Co.
Author: Jeffrey Pixler


I am amazed that U.S. tax dollars are being spent to patrol the skies over 
Peru and Columbia. I have no idea how much taxpayers are spending, but I am 
certain the figure would boggle our minds. The governments of the U.S. and 
South American do not have the resources to eliminate the production of 
illegal drugs. The suppliers are not the problem. The growers and 
processors are not the problem. U.S. citizens, without a doubt the number 
one consumers of illegal drugs, are not the problem. The reasons people 
choose to use and abuse drugs are the problems. How about addressing the 
underlying issues that lead people to use drugs and numb their reality? 
This is a huge waste of tax dollars that could be better spent on 
addressing the issues that lead people on a path of addiction. Prohibition 
did not work in the early part of the 19th century. What makes us think it 
will work today? Criminalization is a joke. The prisons are full drug 
dealers and abusers and cannot be built fast enough to house the convicted. 
How about paying for effective rehabilitation programs and addressing the 
societal factors leading to drug addiction instead of funding trigger-happy 
South American governments? Nothing can be done for the victims of this 
tragedy except to end this ridiculous program and reevaluate the policies 
concerning the drug problem in the US.

Jeffrey Pixler Wichita Falls Via e-mail
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