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Drug problem is in the U.S.

November 29, 2008

Re "A Plan B for Colombia," editorial, Nov. 22

Regarding your thoughtful editorial, Plan Colombia could spread both coca production and civil war throughout South America. U.S. tax dollars would be better spent addressing the socioeconomic causes of civil strife in Colombia than applying military force to attack the symptoms. We're not doing the Colombian people any favors by funding civil war. Nor are Americans being protected from drugs.

Destroy the Colombian coca crop and production will boom in Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador. Destroy every last plant in South America and domestic methamphetamine production will increase to meet the demand for cocaine-like drugs.

Free-market champions in Congress seem incapable of applying basic economics to drug policy. Instead of waging a futile supply-side drug war abroad, we should be funding cost-effective drug treatment here at home.

Robert Sharpe

Washington

The writer is a policy analyst at Common Sense for Drug Policy.

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