Pubdate: Tue, 26 Aug 2008 Source: Wall Street Journal (US) Page: A20 Copyright: 2008 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Contact: http://www.wsj.com/ Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/487 Referenced: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v08/n000/a076.html Author: Daniel Ernesto Robelo U.S. DRUG DEMAND THREATENS MEXICO'S DEMOCRACY Mexico's violence and institutional corruption reveal how misguided and futile the recently approved $1.4 billion U.S. military aid package -- known as the Merida Initiative -- is. Pouring more money and guns into Mexico will only exacerbate the violence and corruption that are fueled by drug profits and further deepen a conflict that increasingly has civilian casualties. Instead, the U.S. should focus on reducing its own demand for drugs. Treatment has repeatedly been shown to be far more successful and cost-effective than supply-side approaches like military aid, eradication and incarceration. More fundamentally, the U.S. must finally consider alternatives to its failed war on drugs. Daniel Ernesto Robelo Drug Policy Alliance Berkeley, Calif.