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Illegal Drug Industry

March 19, 2000

* Arianna Huffington's March 15 commentary, "Drug War's Priorities Are Askew," is spot on--except for one important omission in her discussion of who profits from our absurd national war on drugs. Efforts to decrease supply increase prices and profitability. Spending to decrease demand has the opposite effect. When are we going to openly discuss the fact that the illegal drug industry reaps huge profits from our drug policies, while our society pays an even larger price?

TIMOTHY TUNKS

Marina del Rey

* Re "War on Drugs Taking Toll on Border Agents," March 12: My heart goes out to the many Border Patrol, customs and Drug Enforcement Administration agents who are risking their lives in their attempt to stem the flow of illicit drugs. Why doesn't the government take a more proactive role in the war on drugs? Instead of trying to hire more border patrol agents--who wants to risk his or her life and family's lives living in a war zone?--why not call in the military to crack down on the problem? Isn't a war against drugs on our own native soil just as important as the one we have waged over oil in the Middle East?

The key to alleviating the drug problem in the U.S. is to make it more difficult for the traffickers to get their cargo to the market, thereby driving street prices up to the point of inaccessibility to most of the public, especially the young people they are targeting as vulnerable consumers.

ALLISON HAGEN

La Crescenta

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