Treatment, Education Key Drug War Weapons 

Treatment, Education Key Drug War Weapons 
Posted by FoM on April 06, 2000 at 16:45:34 PT
Letters To The Editor
Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Former Sen. Paul Simon's column [March 30] on the need to provide funds for education and treatment to better fight drug abuse was on target. I was an administrator for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration from 1976 to 1981, and I have seen the loss of life of DEA special agents in Colombia, Mexico, Thailand and the United States--and the destruction of families and communities. This makes it a personal as well as a professional issue.
Colombia is the source of 80 percent of the cocaine imported into the United States and more than 50 percent of the marijuana and heroin. Colombia needs all the help it can get to combat drug trafficking, but as Simon points out, U.S. resources need to be deployed more evenly, with greater emphasis on education and treatment.Reduction of demand will slow consumption of illegal drugs more effectively than interdiction. And effective treatment for drug abuse will reduce crime as well as consumption. When there is a three-month waiting list for treatment in most urban and rural areas, and with less than 1 percent of the prison population who need help actually in treatment programs, putting $1 billion or more in Colombia is a misdirection of resources.As Simon says, should we help Colombia to fight drug trafficking? Should we be tough on those selling drugs? Should we devote more resources to drug education and treatment? Yes, on all accounts.U.S. drug policy has not been effectively directed, balanced or funded. Foreign countries still look at U.S. drug users as the cause, but increasingly, addiction, heroin and cocaine abuse are serious problems in Colombia, Mexico and Brazil. The proposed billion dollar-plus commitment in Colombia is basically militarily directed, downplays police law enforcement and ignores helping community resources, parent groups and treatment centers at local, national and regional levels, which would provide in-country political support and would cost a fraction of the big dollars in military aid.It is in our interest to help Colombia and Latin America. What worries me is that the administration, and maybe Congress, will think that this one-time $1.3 billion program for Colombia will solve our domestic drug problem. It will not.Peter B. Bensinger, President, Bensinger, DuPont & Associates Published: April 6, 2000Copyright 2000, Digital Chicago Inc.Mentioned Article From The Chicago-Sun TimesEducation, Treatment Key in Fighting Drugs Articles:Dead, I Can't Do Anything're Targeting A Colombia We Don't Understand Members Try to Reorient Drug War Our Drug Policy Failing? Don't Ask Other Drug War - Newsweek Money - Arianna Huffington - Salon Magazine 
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Comment #3 posted by dddd on April 06, 2000 at 20:08:22 PT
right on...again
kaptinemo is too good. Nemo says it all so well here,he makes it tuff for neophytes like me,to comment further....But I'll still put in my 2 cents worth. It's so true,how almost all politicians,(former,or otherwise),come up with answers to the nations problems,yet they were the ones in office,and they could have changed things then,but never did.This is especially apparent with presidential candidates.All of a sudden,they seem to have a bunch of good ideas for reform,yet all the years they served as senators,vice presidents,congresspersons,,,they never mentioned,or fought for the things they now talk about. Politicians are a sadly incompetant lot. I think the only new laws that we should try to make,are ones that apply to politicians,and zero tolerance for upholding their oath of office,,to uphold the constitution....Come to think of it,if we did this,there would be many empty seats in the senate and house,and it would take up alot of valuable prison space that could be used for marijuana users. Let's hope things keep getting better.............dddd
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Comment #2 posted by kaptinemo on April 06, 2000 at 17:34:46 PT:
Utter blindness.
Remember the old story about the blind men and the elephant? They're all trying to describe it. One touches a leg and says the elephant is like a pillar. Another touches a flank and says it is a wall. You get the idea. The blind guys can't help the fact they are blind and don't know what they are talking about. This ex-DrugWarrior, like all his brethren, have no such excuse. They are blind by choice. They know bloody well what their willing participation in the DrugWar has done to this country. Even when it is painfully obvious it has been a colossal fraud, they still refuse to acknowledge the fact... and admit their own hand in the mess. (Rather like the Cardinals of Rome who threatened to burn at the stake anyone spouting the heresy of the Earth orbiting the Sun. When Gallileo offered one such Cardinal a peek through his telescope to see for himself, the man replied with the 16th Century Italian version of "My mind is made up, don't confuse with the facts." Funny; the Cardinal's name escapes me, but nearly everybody knows who Gallileo was. A hundred years from now, no one will remember the names of Bennett or McCaffrey; they certainly won't remember the names of all the narks who participated in this farce. Get the hint, narks?) 'U.S. drug policy has not been effectively directed, balanced or funded.' Let's see, now. Not been effectively directed? Says who? One of the men who was a director, that's who. Hmmm. Interesting. So he admits at least his own failures. But we have had supposedly learned, intelligent men running things, right? Men like DuPont. Men like Bennett. Uh, on second thought, maybe I should retract that; their actions vis-a-vis the DrugWar have not demonstrated the above mentioned qualities to any observable extant.Not been balanced? With billions for jails and a few paltry millions dedicated for treatment? What made him think that?As to 'not funded': 200 Billion dollars over 20 years. That's what's been spent on the DrugWar, by the DrugWarrior's own admissions. Enough to build and staff first-rate schools and have enough left over for decent medical care for our aging population... and of course, treatment centers. Instead, we have prison.So blind, so very, very blind. And all they have to do is take off those horse blinkers they're wearing and really look at the problem. But to do so demands that they be willing to face up to their own crimes in enforcing these 'laws'. And not too many have the requisite courage to do that.
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Comment #1 posted by observer on April 06, 2000 at 17:05:42 PT
Education on the Subject
``You and other parent-school groups around the country and you must stand united on this and stamp out this frightful assasin of our youth! You can do it by bringing about compulsory education on the subject of narcotics ingeneral, the dread marihuana in particular.That is the purpose of this meeting ladies and gentlemen. To lay the foundation for a nationwide campaign by you to demand by law, such compulsory education. Because it is onlythrough enlightenment, that this scourge can bewiped out.'' -- Speech by "Dr Carroll", from Reefer Madness, 1936
1936: Reefer Madness (real movie here)
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