Pubdate: Fri, 31 May 2002
Source: East Valley Tribune (AZ)
Copyright: 2002 East Valley Tribune
Author: Jeffrey A. Singer


After reading May 29 of the FBI's plan to reassign many of its personnel 
from drug war responsibilities to counter-terrorism duties, I couldn't help 
but notice yet another of the untended consequences of America's insane and 
futile war on drugs.

It is already old news that this modern version of prohibition fills our 
prisons with hundreds of thousands non-violent drug offenders.

It is also self-evident that it creates an astonishingly lucrative market 
for the criminal underworld--and helps anti-democratic guerrillas fund 
their campaigns in Colombia and other neighbors to the south.

We recently learned that the profitable black market, made possible by 
prohibition, has served as a funding source for the Taliban and other 
sponsors of terrorism.

The drug war promotes inner city violence as gangs feud over drug 
distribution territories.  And it is a major cause of the spread of HIV and 
hepatitis, as illegal drug users share dirty needles-- or resort to 
prostitution to support their habit.

But now the FBI admits what many have long suspected: the war on drugs has 
wasted and misused much of the FBI's talents and resources.  These 
resources should have been busy protecting Americans from attack by 
hate-filled terrorists.  Instead they were busy trying to protect Americans 
from themselves.

When will this madness end?

Jeffrey A. Singer, Phoenix
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