Pubdate: Fri, 26 Nov 1999
Date: 11/26/1999
Source: Baltimore Sun (MD)
Author: Ellen B. Miller

I read with anger and frustration The Sun's article "War on drugs in
Colombia stymied by Washington's partisan stalemate" (Nov. 12).

It is not the farmer in Colombia who is the problem; rather, it is the
drug habit of Americans that encourages the increased growth of cocoa
and heroin. Why can't this country, the most technologically advanced
in the world, stop the import of drugs, which would curb the growth
and save our urban centers?

Is it because we really don't want to?

The illegality of these substances permits obscene markups that enrich
drug traffickers and dealers, corrupt policemen, lawyers, judges,
politicians and businessmen; as well as, those who have vested
interests in the drug war -- such as prison builders, correction and
parole officers' associations and drug testing companies.

We are not winning any war on drugs, and if we continue doing the same
thing, we'll be no better off in 10 years.

Our problem lies not in Colombia, but in ourselves.

Ellen B. Miller