Pubdate: Wed, 14 Jul 2004
Source: Mountain Xpress (NC)
Copyright: 2004 Mountain Xpress
Author: Richard F. Moore
Bookmark: (Cannabis)
Bookmark: (Cocaine)
Bookmark: (Corruption - United States)


I was quite interested in Michael Harney's comments [Commentary, "Let's get 
real," June 30] on the drug "problems" in Asheville, and possible remedies 
to the insane "drug war" which costs taxpayers [by some estimates] over $60 
billion a year, and incarcerates more citizens than in any other nation, 
including those we routinely criticize, bomb, etc.

The facts are straightforward: The purity of drugs is at an all-time high, 
and the availability is epidemic in every city and town. Why? Because the 
government has a vested interest in making sure that narcotics [excluding 
the non-narcotic marijuana] are always there as a source of funding "black" 
budget projects that Congress has not allocated money for (see the Contra 
coke-for-guns story on any search engine).

Afghanistan is enjoying its largest opium poppy harvest in decades, while 
the United States and other coalition forces occupy the country. The 
Taliban, which had almost eliminated poppy cultivation due to strict 
religious prohibition, was undoing a system that the intelligence services 
of the developed world have spent many years setting up to ensure an 
uninterrupted flow of cash that could not be traced through the banking 
systems of the world.

The flow of cocaine from South and Central America has increased while we 
spend millions more every month on crooked politicians and a plan to spray 
herbicides on the crops of coca, despite hard evidence that it is killing 
legitimate crops of desperately poor farmers, and poisoning the water and 
air where they live.

The government proudly trumpets its success in the drug war when the 
seizure rates - around 10 percent of what is smuggled in - has remained 
basically constant for decades. If any other industry or venture had such 
abysmal results with unlimited funding, the laws stacked in their favor, 
and the military aiding their efforts, they would be shut down pronto.

Richard F. Moore

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