Pubdate: Tue, 31 Aug 2004
Source: The Monitor (TX)
Copyright: 2004 The Monitor
Author: Robert Sharpe


To the editor:

Re: The editorial "Drug War Debacle" Even 'drug czar' admits Plan Colombia 
failing," Aug. 19.

Drug czar John Walters admits the U.S. taxpayer-funded Plan Colombia has 
had little impact on the flow of cocaine, but he wants to stay the course 
regardless. Plan Colombia could very well spread both coca production and 
civil war throughout South America.

Communist guerrilla movements do not originate in a vacuum. U.S. tax 
dollars would be better spent addressing the socioeconomic causes of civil 
strife rather than applying overwhelming military force to attack the 
symptoms. We're not doing the Colombian people any favors by funding civil war.

Nor are Americans being protected from drugs. Destroy the Colombian coca 
crop, and production will boom in Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador. Destroy every 
last plant in South America, and domestic methamphetamine production will 
increase to meet the demand for cocaine-like drugs.

The self-professed champions of the free market in Congress are seemingly 
incapable of applying basic economic principles to drug policy. Instead of 
wasting scarce resources waging a futile supply-side drug war abroad, we 
should be funding cost-effective drug treatment here at home.

Robert Sharpe, Common Sense for Drug Policy, Washington, D.C 
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