My friend William Butler wants to cure the dreadful problems in Central America by sending the Marines (News-Post, July 6), as we sent them to Nicaragua and Honduras in the 1930s. Another approach is to look at what might be the fuel of the chaos in Central America. The war on drugs has failed to stop the flow of drugs into American cities. Its only successes have been:
- To put many young people (mostly black and brown) in prison.
- To enrich the drug dealers.
- To enrich the owners of private prisons.
- To support the bail-bond industry.
- To militarize our police.
- To enlarge the militaries of Latin American countries.
- To impose our standards about drugs on people who have used some of these drugs (e.g., coca) for centuries.
- To curtail research into the possible medical uses of cannabis.
None of these “successes” is good for the American people or for our neighbors to the south. From what I know, we should treat drug addiction as a medical-social problem. The American thirst for drugs seems to be the root cause. I don’t think it would be humane or ethical to try to solve our drug problems by imposing a violent solution on poor countries to the south. This is especially true when ending the War on Drugs would likely reduce the violence in America’s inner cities.
Robert Charles Ladner