Pubdate: Thu, 01 Aug 2002
Source: Business 2.0 (CA)
Copyright: 2002 Business 2.0 Media Inc.
Author: W. Eric Martin


If the United States eliminated its hypocritical drug laws -- under which 
alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine are legal while pot, cocaine, and ecstasy 
are not -- defeating the IT infrastructures of Colombian drug cartels would 
be a nonissue ("The Technology Secrets of Cocaine Inc.," July). Without the 
financial incentive our drug laws provide, Colombian drug traffickers would 
doubtless stop dismembering the bodies of their enemies with chain saws and 
move on to less destructive fields of activity (copying CDs, for example). 
The United States has spent billions to eliminate drug exports from 
Colombia, and as your article points out, cocaine shipments are almost 
twice what they were in 1998. Instead of endlessly playing catch-up against 
a force we'll never defeat, we must remember why we're in this situation in 
the first place.

W. Eric Martin

Blackstone, MA
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