Pubdate: Thu, 17 Nov 2011
Source: Ledger-Enquirer (Columbus, GA)
Copyright: 2011 Ledger-Enquirer
Author: Vera Leone


In your recent "Red Ribbon Week" article " Colombian army colonel says
war against cocaine changing," Colombian Col. William Galindo said the
impact of cocaine has declined due to the presence of the police force
and law enforcement.

He could not be more wrong. It's shameful that the Ledger-Enquirer
spouts WHINSEC lies without a bit of fact-checking.

Despite more than 10 years and $8 billion of U.S. military aid,
Colombia is still the number one cocaine producer in the world.
Stopping drugs via interdiction efforts and military repression at the
source does not work, which we've known for too long. Almost 20 years
ago, the Rand Corporation published a study showing treatment and
demand reduction 23 times more cost effective at reducing cocaine
consumption than trying to control the source.

The Global Commission on Drug Policy, a group of high-level government
and U.N. officials, just released a report unequivocally stating money
spent on targeting producers and traffickers has "clearly failed to
effectively curtail supply or consumption." They call for an end to
ideologically-driven drug policies and the beginning of reasoned
debate on effective reforms.

Last year, 45 percent of 12th graders in the U.S. reported that crack
cocaine was "fairly easy" or "very easy" to obtain. Our children, here
and around the hemisphere, are at stake. The time has come for those
of us who want actual solutions to step forward and look at what
really works.

Vera Leone

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