Pubdate: Thu, 26 Mar 2009
Source: Economist, The (UK)
Copyright: 2009 The Economist Newspaper Limited
Author: Sir Keith Morris


Sir -- The evidence in support of your 20-year campaign in favour of
legalising drugs has become ever more compelling. In 2000 I argued in
your pages that the drug war had failed based on my experience in
Colombia in the early 1990s (Letters, March 18th 2000). It is striking
how much the costs of the drug war have mounted since then. In
Colombia, despite improvements in security and $6 billion of American
aid, cocaine production continues at roughly the same level and about
3,000 people still die every year because of cocaine-related conflict.

Many ministers and officials will admit in private that current
policies have done much more harm than good but are not prepared to
speak out because they see no point given entrenched American
attitudes or hostile public-opinion. With the Obama administration
showing a willingness to review both domestic and foreign policy this
must be the moment to consider seriously the solution The Economist
has so persistently proposed.

Sir Keith Morris British ambassador to Colombia

1990-94 London
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