Pubdate: Wed, 15 Dec 2010
Source: Athens Banner-Herald (GA)
Copyright: 2010 Athens Newspapers Inc
Author: Jon Van Rider
Note: Jon Van Rider is a retired police captain.


As someone who was in charge of a major narcotics unit in Dade County,
Fla., in the 1980s and early 1990s, I place the blame for Mexican drug
cartels and the problems they cause on U.S. citizens' unquenchable
appetite for illegal narcotics, in the amount of billions of dollars
each year. The law of supply and demand is not hard to figure out.

Under President Clinton, the anti-drug campaign was focused on
educating drug users, and interdiction was downsized. I saw cocaine
drop from $ 21,000 per kilo to $14,000 per kilo.

The poor Mexican or Colombian carrying the heroin, marijuana or
cocaine into the United States is not the problem. These people live
in very poor areas, some making as little as $40 per week. No wonder
they want to come to the United States.

Big money fuels the appetite for the sale, use and trafficking of
illegal narcotics in America. One kilo of pure cocaine, when turned
into "crack" cocaine, can generate a profit of $60,000 to $80,000.

In terms of costs to society, drug users commit crimes, leading to a
need for more police officers. More arrests mean more lawyers, more
judges and more jails. All of these things cost the American people in
terms of increased taxes.

Are we really involved in a war on drugs? How long will we allow this
vicious cycle to continue?

Jon Van Rider is a retired police captain. 
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