Pubdate: Mon, 23 Sep 2002
Source: Christian Science Monitor (US)
Copyright: 2002 The Christian Science Publishing Society
Author: Eric E. Sterling
Related: Criminal Justice Policy Foundation


More than 20 years ago, when I was counsel to the House Judiciary
Committee, we began investigating the many ways that cocaine was
smuggled into the country, including the go-fast boats described in
your Sept. 18 article, "Super-speedboats piloting Colombia's cocaine

Drug enforcement is supposed to drive the price of prohibited drugs
up, but over the past 20 years, the wholesale and retail price of
cocaine and heroin in the US has fallen almost steadily.

Ironically, the price of cigarettes has been driven up by increased
taxation, encouraging millions of smokers to quit; and honest
antitobacco advertising is reducing teenage smoking.

Drug prohibition can never significantly reduce the availability of
drugs. Legal regulation and controls will give the US and Colombian
governments the modern tools to better control the cocaine trade, the
abuse of cocaine, and the flow of money that finances the terrorist
armies undermining Colombia's society and economy.

Isn't it time that we demand a realistic strategy to control drugs,
rather than a feel-good crusade that doesn't work?

Eric E. Sterling

President of the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation

Silver Spring, Md.
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