Pubdate: Tue, 11 Apr 2000
Date: 04/11/2000
Source: Wall Street Journal (US)
Author: Robert Sharpe

Francis Fukuyama's March 28 editorial-page commentary "Colombia
Deserves U.S. Help," which voiced support for the proposed $1.57
billion military aid package to Colombia, was misguided.

Attempts to limit supply only increase the profitability of drug
trafficking, which in turn increases the levels of violence and
corruption. We're not doing the Colombian people any favors by adding
fuel to the fire.

Nor are we protecting children from drugs.

Even if every last plant in Colombia were killed by the toxic poisons
that drug warriors spray, American youth would continue to get high.
As long as there is a demand, there will be a supply.

Cut off the flow of cocaine and domestic methamphetamine production
will boom. Thanks to past successes at eradicating marijuana in Latin
America, the corresponding increase in domestic cultivation has made
marijuana America's number one cash crop. Kids who cannot buy pot have
been known to use a host of deadly yet legal chemicals to get high. I
find it frustrating that the alleged champions of the free market in
Congress cannot understand how basic supply and demand dynamics make
the drug war futile.

No amount of tax dollars spent eradicating plants in Colombia is going
to make the U.S. "drug-free." Nor will funding civil war in Colombia
win the drug war. For the same reasons that alcohol prohibition
failed, the drug war has been doomed from the start.

Robert Sharpe, Students for Sensible Drug Policy George Washington

Note: The WSJ, historically prohibitionist, here prints letters from two
oft-published letter writers.

Together, Sharpe and Sutliff have 36 letters in the 1999-2000 MAP
archive at