Pubdate: Tue, 08 Jan 2002
Source: Mobile Register (AL)
Copyright: 2002 Mobile Register.
Author: Robert Sharpe


When are politicians going to acknowledge the dangerous levels of
institutional corruption engendered by the drug war?

The Jan. 4 article on the Prichard cops
involved in drug distribution, corruption and racketeering is just the
latest example. This insidious corruption stretches from coast to
coast and reaches the highest levels. In 1999, the Los Angeles Police
Department Rampart scandal involved anti-drug officers selling drugs
and framing gang members. Last year, the former commander of U.S.
anti-drug operations in Colombia was found guilty of laundering the
profits of his wife's heroin smuggling operation. Entire countries
have been destabilized due to the corrupting influence of
organized-crime groups that profit from the illegal drug trade.

Like alcohol prohibition in the 1920s, the drug war is causing
tremendous societal harm, while failing miserably at preventing use.

Ironically, fear of appearing "soft on crime" compels many U.S.
politicians to support a punitive drug policy that ultimately fuels
organized crime and violence.

Robert Sharpe,

Program Officer, The Lindesmith Drug Policy Foundation,

Washington, D.C.
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