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The Cocaine War

June 25, 1989

Regarding "Nothing Works," by Stanley Meisler: The author correctly states that treatment and prevention have been largely ignored in federal policy for the last eight years. What if they had been addressed with the same vigor as interdiction? What if we had federal, state and local elected and appointed officials willing to boldly confront poverty, homelessness, subsidization of tobacco production and glamorization of alcoholic beverage consumption?

Bluntly put, our health care and criminal justice systems are monuments to our failure of leadership. If we had the leadership, supported by the American public, we would probably not be facing the cocaine, alcohol and nicotine injuries, illnesses, deaths and related tragedies we spend billions on now.

RENE TOPALIAN

Arcadia

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