U.S. drug policy driven by corporate greed

Dear A.M. Costa Rica

Your article’s claim that cocaine is being replaced by heroin is absurd!

Oxycodone and other legal synthetic opiates are being replaced by heroin as the U.S. clamps down on the oxy-mills that have proliferated there for two or three decades, thanks to Big Pharma and greed. The market for cocaine overlaps with, but is not the same as, the opiate market.

And fentanyl salts might be made in China now, but could just as easily be made in a garage in Kansas (as they were 20 years ago), given the right precursor chemicals, and can more easily be made in Mexico. The problem isn’t the drug, it is the user and drug policy.

Of course the U.S. effort of international prohibition is being made more difficult by jurisdictions both in and outside their country legalizing various drugs, Uruguay and Portugal being the best known examples. The world is starting to see that prohibition has failed and the U.S. needs to get its head out of the sand, but the military-correctional-armaments-pharmaceuticals lobbies are too strong to allow change in a country driven by corporate power.

Look to retired law enforcement officials (as in LEAP — Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) for a reasonable stand on drug policy. Those in office today are just following the existing policy.

John French
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