Pubdate: Wed, 27 Feb 2002
Source: Chapel Hill News (NC)
Copyright: 2002 Chapel Hill News
Author: Robert Sharpe


Hillsborough Witness for Peace activist Jena Matzen's assessment that 
the U.S.-funded drug war in Colombia is doing more harm than good is 
right on the money. Plan Colombia could very well spread both coca 
production and civil war throughout South America.
Communist guerilla movements do not originate in a vacuum. U.S. tax 
dollars would be better spent addressing the socioeconomic causes of 
civil strife rather than applying overwhelming military force to 
attack the symptoms. We're not doing the Colombian people any favors 
by funding civil war. Nor are Americans being protected from drugs.

Destroy the Colombian coca crop and production will boom in Peru, 
Bolivia and Ecuador. Destroy every last plant in South America and 
domestic methamphetamine production will increase to meet the demand 
for cocaine-like drugs. As long as there exists a demand for drugs, 
there will be a supply.

The self-professed champions of the free market in Congress are 
seemingly incapable of applying basic economic principles to drug 
policy. Instead of wasting scarce resources waging a futile 
supply-side war abroad, we should be funding cost-effective drug 
treatment here at home.

Robert Sharpe

Program officer, Drug Policy Alliance

Washington, D.C.
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