Colombian Cocaine War a Failure in U.S.

Plan Colombia has failed, according to the New York Times. Jacob Sullen at Reason notes:

Five years and $3 billion into the most aggressive counternarcotics operation ever here, American and Colombian officials say they have eradicated a record-breaking million acres of coca plants, yet cocaine remains as available as ever on American streets, perhaps more so.

Drug War Rant comments:

This is five times as much as the federal government spends on the arts. Now you may disagree with arts funding, and you may not like all the art that comes from arts funding, but arts funding at least doesn't destroy the rainforest, increase international violence and terrorism, spread poison on poor farmers' crops with nothing to show for it -- at least with the arts funding you can get a pretty good symphony and some excellent arts in the schools now and then.

Further evidence the war on cocaine supply has failed to affect demand or use: today's Denver Post article, Cocaine Demons Stalk Aspen.

"We had kind of hoped that that so-called 'coke epidemic' talk from the 1980s had gone away, but in the last year or so, we have been hearing more and more about it," says Shelley Molz, executive director of the Valley Partnership for Drug Prevention.

.... Police Chief Loren Ryerson, who has lived in Aspen for nearly 30 years, says that from his vantage point, cocaine use has remained steady and is not out of line with other communities.

What has changed, Ryerson says, is that public money for treatment is dwindling. "Substance abuse is happening in everybody's community," he says. "The human tragedy for those people looking for help, is that the resources are just disappearing."

< Blogging the British Elections, Journalistically | Inmate Dead Following Repeated Tasering >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Re: Colombian Cocaine War a Failure in U.S. (none / 0) (#1)
    by kdog on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:39 PM EST
    Obviously, the US isn't air dropping enough poison, isn't starving enough Columbians, isn't putting enough people in jail. Or could it be prohibition is fundamentally flawed? Nah, that can't be it, it worked so well for alcohol. PS...I can still get a bag w/in a half hour today, same as yesterday, same as tommorow. But coke ain't my bag, and not because it's illegal, because I don't like it, I'd rather drink coffee.

    Re: Colombian Cocaine War a Failure in U.S. (none / 0) (#2)
    by Johnny on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:39 PM EST
    Yeah, the only thing the drug war has accomplished 0aside from saturating the prisons with dubiously dangerous criminals) is upped the purity of the sh!t available on the "street" And by street I mean nice white suburban neighborhoods. Anyone need a ********** let me know, in my podunk town in the upper midwest, drugs are easier to by than beer.. and i am old enough to buy beer legally! Scary, huh? Better carpet bomb my house and kill all the women and children within 20 miles of my house, than will the world be safe for welfare based capitalism!

    Re: Colombian Cocaine War a Failure in U.S. (none / 0) (#3)
    by kdog on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:40 PM EST
    Johnny, doesn't the whole drug war bag boggle the mind? It's been over 50 years, zero progress towards their aim of a sober puritan nation, why can't the prohibitionists admit defeat, surrender to the drugs, and we all move on with our lives? The prohibitionists reek of desperation, and it is really unbecoming.

    Re: Colombian Cocaine War a Failure in U.S. (none / 0) (#4)
    by marty on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:43 PM EST
    Here's an irony for you - the real pressure on cocaine sales is not from the war on drugs, but rather from the increased availability of cheap methamphetamine. Meth, of course, not only kills a lot faster than cocaine, but has the additional special benefit of generating thousands of environmental cleanup sites from meth labs. The best successes in the fight against cocaine were seen in assaults on the refinement labs in Columbia, not in coca eradication programs. Unfortunately, until Columbia has a stable government that controls all the territory in the country, it's rather difficult to find and destroy the labs.