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


(7) comments


At this point in time the only way to end the war of drugs quickly is to have all drug addicts register to get free drugs.
Think Netherlands, Portugal, etc.  Our war on drugs is not working, theirs is: To summarize, drug free countries in our case are those with the lowest number of deaths due to drug abuse, and those which don’t have sufficient evidence of drug production or large-scale drug trafficking. Imagining there is a single country in the world without the smallest amount of a prohibited substance sounds like a fairy tale, so we endeavored to trace the lowest drug use country. On the other hand, if you are interested in what countries have the highest number of addicts, take a look at our article about most drug addicted countries in the world in 2017, where you can find some of most drug addicted cities in the world, as well. To find out which is the country with biggest drug problems read 17 Countries with the Biggest Drug Problems in the World. "


Great Letter! America has a severe learning disability! Prohibition was the first "War on Drugs" and it created and enhanced organized crime so why haven't our leaders learned from history?


Mr. Ladner,
I agree that "drugs" are not the real problem in Central America. These countries suffered poverty and lawlessness before the drug industry. Humans are the problem. The area has always been ripe for exploitation and certainly many Americans from all walks are responsible for the abysmal conditions. New answers and solutions must be forthcoming. We must treat the disease not the symptoms, such as immigration

Tariffs have been in the forefront of the news lately. Under Nafta, American companies open shop in countries like Mexico, pay low wages, with poor working conditions and then sale their products freely in the US. This not only puts American based companies at a disadvantage, it exploits the people on our Southern borders.
Wouldn't it be a progressive initiative to place tariffs on companies that exploit, and allow free trade for products from companies that raise the standard of living for the people. Just one idea.


As usual you are late to the game.


You sound like a union organizer, Jim/[lol]


I have never been against the concept of unions. We are a Union. "We the people order to form a more perfect Union." Working for Bechtel in the 70's (Fredrick, Alaska, Minnesota) I witnessed some Union abuses. But they were corrected. Unlike government unions,free market labor unions have a balance between management's obligations and workers rights. That has proved very beneficial to the middle class.
But that is irrelevant to what has been happening in Central America for centuries. My only point is: If America really cares for the families and people living in Central and South America we might consider using our economic might to help lift these countries out of poverty, corruption and lawlessness. But we turn a blind eye, Why?


There will always be ideal moves and attainable moves and NAFTA was realistic, but not perfect. Mexico had a growing middle class and lower border crossings before we started trying to ruin it. What next? Central America needs help and I see nothing from Washington that will do much good at all.

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