Pubdate: Fri, 5 Mar 1999
Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA)
Copyright: 1999 San Francisco Examiner
Author: Tom O'Connell


Each year at this time American newspapers are filled with articles
bemoaning the hypocrisy of certifying Mexico and 30 or so other nations as
"reliable partners" in our global crusade against drugs.

We know that whatever success is claimed for American drug prohibition, it
has stuffed our prisons to the bursting point, is bankrupting public
education, spreading AIDS and turning law enforcers into criminals through
reliance on perjured testimony, bribes and "forfeiture."

Sam Quinones' article, "Sinaloa: Mexico's capital of drug crime" (Feb. 28),
is a useful reminder that this intellectually bankrupt and dishonest policy
is also doing fearsome social damage abroad, most severely to the
unfortunate countries whose climate or location (both in the case of Mexico)
makes them major players in the international criminal drug market.

That market is purely an American creation. To expect people of impoverished
nations to resist its lure is lunacy. To expect their governments to
successfully combat a market we have proven incapable of controlling is the
ultimate hypocrisy.

One wonders just what social disaster it will take for the public to realize
how the self-righteous high priests of prohibition have been betraying their
public trust for decades.

Tom O'Connell San Mateo

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