Pubdate: Mon, 18 Dec 2000
Source: San Antonio Express-News (TX)
Copyright: 2000 San Antonio Express-News
Author: Robert Sharpe
Note: Robert Sharpe, program officer,
Lindesmith Center-Drug Policy Foundation


Re: the Nov. 30 editorial "Drug supply, demand both part of problem":

Cleaning up Mexican drug trafficking is easier said than done. When
the supply of illegal drugs is successfully limited by interdiction
while demand remains constant, drug trafficking becomes more profitable.

The resulting obscene profits guarantee replacement dealers. In the
short term, drug prices are higher, which means desperate addicts
increase criminal activity to feed desperate habits. Those who get
caught are placed in prisons that transmit violent values rather than
reducing them.

Drug laws fuel organized crime and corruption, which is then used to
justify increased drug-war spending. It's time to end this madness and
start treating all substance abuse like the public health problem that
it is.

Robert Sharpe,
program officer,
Lindesmith Center-Drug Policy Foundation,
Washington, D.C.

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