Magazine article The American Prospect

Home-Court Advantage. (Correspondence)

Magazine article The American Prospect

Home-Court Advantage. (Correspondence)

Article excerpt

MICHAEL MASSING DID AN excellent job of pointing out the major differences between the war on drugs and the war on terrorism ["Home-Court Advantage," December 3].

Afghanistan's brutal Taliban regime profits from the heroin trade because of drug prohibition, not in spite of it. Attempts to limit supply while demand remains constant only increase the profitability of drug trafficking. Here in the United States, the drug war distorts market forces to the degree that an easily grown weed like marijuana is literally worth its weight in gold. In South America, the various armed factions tearing Colombia apart are all financially dependent on the obscene profits created by America's $50-billion war on consensual vices. The drug war is the problem, not the solution.

Heroin produced in Afghanistan is primarily consumed in Europe, a continent already experimenting with public-health alternatives to the drug war. Providing chronic addicts with standardized doses in a treatment setting has been shown to reduce drug-related disease, death, and crime. …

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