AP Impact report on failed drug war ignites debate
By CHRISTOPHER SHERMAN (AP) – 19 hours ago
McALLEN, Texas — A Texas city councilman waging a lonely fight against U.S. drug policy sent an excited e-mail to his constituents Friday: “We’re on the brink of significant change.”
Across the nation, people who long ago declared the war on drugs a failure were encouraged by an Associated Press review that shows $1 trillion spent over 40 years has done little to stop the flow of illegal drugs or related violence, and by the U.S. drug czar’s admission to the AP that the war has not been successful.
“One of the most damning and comprehensive articles on the failure of the drug war was published throughout the world yesterday,” said El Paso City Councilman Beto O’Rourke, who has had a front-row seat to the failure across the Rio Grande from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico’s most violent, drug-plagued city.
“The AP article … uses clear metrics (expressed in dollars spent, lives lost, availability and use of drugs, etc.) to describe what a catastrophe our War on Drugs has been so far.”
The AP report played across Texas newspaper front pages on Friday, ran high on Internet news sites and ignited the blogosphere, where the left-leaning, independent news service AlterNet declared: “The Associated Press takes the entire U.S. drug war strategy and rakes it over the coals. It’s about damn time!”