Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Advice on the Drug Wars

Cesar Gaviria, President of Colombia from 1990 to 1994, has some advice for Rodrigo Duterte, President of the Phillipines:
"Throwing more soldiers and police at the drug users is not just a waste of money but also can actually make the problem worse."
"Locking up nonviolent offenders and drug users almost always backfires, instead strengthening organized crime."
"Not only did we fail to eradicate drug production, trafficking and consumption in Colombia, but we also pushed drugs and crime into neighboring countries."
"Tens of thousands of people were slaughtered in our anti-drug crusade."
"Many of our brightest politicians, judges, police officers and journalists were assassinated. At the same time, the vast funds earned by drug cartels were spent to corrupt our executive, judicial and legislative branches of government."
"They started making positive impact only when they treated drug use a social problem and not a military one."
"Real reductions in drug supply and demand will come through improving public health and safety, strengthening anticorruption measures — especially those that combat money laundering — and investing in sustainable development."

Many of these points could apply to us.

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