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End war on drugs by buying up supply | READER COMMENTARY

In June 1971, President Richard Nixon declared a "war on drugs” and in the ensuing half-century, the unwinnable war has cost $1 trillion, filled America’s prisons, dispensed harsh sentences for non-violent drug-related offenses, and given rise to cartels in Latin America that put Al Capone’s crime syndicate to shame. (Tribune Content Agency)
In June 1971, President Richard Nixon declared a "war on drugs” and in the ensuing half-century, the unwinnable war has cost $1 trillion, filled America’s prisons, dispensed harsh sentences for non-violent drug-related offenses, and given rise to cartels in Latin America that put Al Capone’s crime syndicate to shame. (Tribune Content Agency) (Office of Senator Robert Byrd // Wikimedia Commons)

I just finished reading the commentary about the war on drugs (”The war on drugs has not only failed, it’s worsened drug use in America,” March 8). When faced with a problem, I always look for the most effective and economic way to handle it, and I start with common sense theories. The people overseas that make and send the drugs to the America are in it for the money, that’s all they really care about.

We have been spending hundreds of billions of dollars on fighting drug abuse plus the cost of incarceration, treatment and prevention. Why don’t we make a deal with the major importers ,and the government can buy the drugs directly from the suppliers themselves thus removing a substantial amount of drugs from our communities? That would cost a lot less than fighting this never-ending war, which now, without a doubt, is the longest war in American historynd it’s a war we will never win.

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It’s time for mitigation. The vast amount of money we save should be used for treatment of those that have been caught up in this vicious war, sometimes for the majority of their lives.

The war started by mass arrests of the drug users thinking that if they removed the buyers the problem would go away. Well, surprise, surprise, that didn’t work. Then the thinking was go after the big dealers. Surprise again, when one fell another took their place. Next, they went after the manufacturing in other countries and again, no surprise, that didn’t work either. The only thing left to do, that I can see, is buy and destroy the drugs before they get to America.

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Besides the users, everyone is in it for the money and they don’t care where the money comes from just as long as it ends up in their pockets. This wouldn’t wipe out all drugs, but it sure would put a huge dent in the problem that will not go away so maybe we can finally start to get a handle on it.

Jeff Rew, Columbia

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