Pubdate: Fri, 04 Jan 2002
Source: Washington Post (DC)
Page: A26
Copyright: 2002 The Washington Post Company
Author: Alan Reiner
Bookmark: (Terrorism)


In his Dec. 24 letter, "The Drug-Terror Connection," Marc Grossman pointed 
out that the United States has pumped billions of dollars into the drug 
war, destroyed enormous amounts of drugs and shut down hundreds of drug 
laboratories. What Mr. Grossman did not mention, however, is that with all 
this time and money, we've barely made a dent in the drug problem.

We arrest users and dealers, and drugs are still prevalent on the streets, 
circulating through schools and prisons like water. We've been doing this 
for 30 years with the same lack of results. All we have now is the highest 
incarceration rate in the world, with no reduction in the amount of drugs.

As for the connection to terrorism, Mr. Grossman also forgot to mention 
that terrorists make their money from drugs because drugs are illegal. With 
inflated black market prices, heroin sells for many times the price of 
gold, affording the distributor huge percentages in profit. On the other 
hand, if these drugs were regulated and sold out of pharmacies, the price 
would plummet.

The drug war is no more of a success than alcohol prohibition was in the 
1920s, and with terrorists using drug money to finance their operations, we 
have yet another reason to end it.

ALAN REINER, Arlington
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