Pubdate: Sun, 13 Apr 2014
Source: Topeka Capital-Journal (KS)
Copyright: 2014 Michael Lee Kobe
Author: Michael Lee Kobe


The arrest of Joaquin Guzman, leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel, was
described by Attorney General Eric Holder as a landmark

Early in the "War on Drugs," spectacular arrests and sensational drug
seizures were followed by pronouncements from law enforcement
officials that communities were now safer with fewer drugs on the
street. The purpose of those pronouncements was to provide validation
for the war on drugs. There have been no such assessments following
the arrest of Guzman.

The arrest will not impact the availability of drugs on the

Market forces and the law of supply and demand react quickly to
indicators and likely future supply. Guzman's arrest should be seen
for what it is: a triumph for law enforcement. But it will have no
impact on the street prices for drugs. One more arrest of a kingpin or
drug addict will not signal victory in sight.

The war on drugs, like all wars, has had devastating results upon
communities, families and individuals. The carnage has hollowed out
the urban core of many of our great cities and destroyed the lives of
vast numbers of individuals, especially minority members. Weighing
that cost against the promised rewards offered by the war on drugs
cannot be done without bringing tears to the eyes of thoughtful

Legalization of drugs can't be validated anymore than can the war on
drugs. However, reconciling ourselves to the reality that surrounds us
should provide the motivation to achieve an accommodation on drugs
that will accomplish more than the war has or legalization might.

MICHAEL LEE KOBE, Palestine, Texas
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