Pubdate: Tue, 07 Jun 2011
Source: Columbia Daily Tribune (MO)
Contact:  2011 Columbia Daily Tribune
Note: Prints the street address of LTE writer
Author: Henry J. Waters III


Futility Becomes More Apparent

What do former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan; former Cabinet 
member George Shultz, who served under Presidents Ronald Reagan and 
Richard Nixon; former U.S. Federal Reserve Board chairman Paul 
Volcker; former presidents of Mexico, Brazil and Colombia; writers 
Carlo Fuentes and Mario Vargas Llosa; U.K. business titan Richard 
Branson; and the current prime minister of Greece all agree on?

They say it's time to end the war on drugs.

All are part of the 19-member Global Commission on Drug Policy, which 
calls on governments to end criminalization of controlled substances.

"Political leaders and public figures should have the courage to 
articulate publicly what many of them acknowledge privately, that the 
evidence overwhelmingly demonstrates that repressive strategies will 
not solve the drug problem and that the war on drugs has not, and 
cannot, be won," the report said.

The commission points out the obvious. Decriminalization would 
undermine organized crime and offer health and treatment for users. 
The report is particularly critical of policies in the United States 
that must lead changes if the drug war is to be transformed. One need 
only look at the mayhem occurring near the Mexican border as cartels 
bribe and murder state and local officials to abet their wildly 
profitable illegal drug business in the U.S. black market.

One might also look at persistent U.S. street crime, mostly fomented 
by drug dealers and users desperate for cash to afford black market prices.

The global commission solution signed by so many prominent leaders 
sounds familiar. It is precisely what this country did in the 1920s 
to end the scourge of the black market in alcoholic liquor.

Yet the White House drug czar says the report is misguided. "Drug 
addiction is a disease that can be successfully prevented and 
treated. Making drugs more available -- as this report suggests -- 
will make it harder to keep our communities healthy and safe," Rafael 
Lemaitre said.

This is nothing more than a timorous hunkered-down political 
statement, the opposite of civic leadership. I suppose Lemaitre 
hasn't looked outside at the streets or scanned a police report 
lately. Nothing would do more to lessen crime problems in the United 
States than legalizing drugs.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom