Pubdate: Sat, 20 Jan 2001
Source: Oregonian, The (OR)
Copyright: 2001 The Oregonian
Contact:  1320 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97201
Fax: 503-294-4193
Author: Arlie T. Rosier


The aerial fumigation program in Colombia supported by US taxpayers in
the so-called "war on drugs" is endangering the fragile ecosystems and
indigenous cultures of Colombia's Amazon Basin ("The war against
cocaine production in Colombia turns to aerial spraying of herbicide
on small farms, Jan 14)

The program is designed to eradicate coca and other plants used to
manufacture illicit drugs.  But it indiscriminately wipes out
legitimate subsistence crops such as corn as well as natural plants
and kills birds, mammals and aquatic life.

According to the Rand Corp., providing drug treatment to cocaine users
in the United States is 10 times more effective than drug interdiction
and 23 times fore cost effective than trying to eradicate coca at its

If decreasing drug use is our ultimate goal, why aren't we putting
more resources into the under-funded domestic drug treatment programs?

Arlie T. Rosier,
Sherwood, OR
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