Wired 12.11: The Mystery of the Coca Plant That Wouldn't Die

In case you have ADD and don't want to take the time to read the article, I'll summarize for you.

1. US gives $750 million dollars to Columbia as part of a regional anti-narcotics package. 20% goes to dusting coca fields with herbicide.
2. There is now a strain of Coca that is resistant to the herbicide.
3. The herbicide-resistant strain appears to be genetically modified to resist the herbicide.
4. The herbicide does kill all the weeds thus making the coca field production higher.
5. U.S. coca crop dusting efforts are now helping the drug cartels' coca production.

Doesn't this illustrate the futility of the "drug war"? It is impossible to kill the supply so long as there is demand. The profit motive is far too high for drug producers who will do anything to meet the supply. The cartels are even using subs to traffic the drugs.

The bottom line is that there is and always will be, a segment of the population predisposed to using narcotics. There is no way to stop people from doing drugs. We spend billions of dollars on both sides (supply and demand) with little results. We can affect demand to a certain extent by educating our children to the dangers of narcotics and by raising kids that won't grow up to need escapism via narcotics. But we'll never fully eliminate a segment of the population's demands for narcotics. To think anything different is pure ignorance.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

So you are saying that because this shurb has built an immunity to a herbiside(or that one was man made and introduced) that we should stop trying to reduce the flow of cocaine into the U.S.? Using that argument shouldn't we quit using antibiotics? Many diseases have devoloped an immunity to the medications we use.

November 1, 2004 at 1:40 PM  
Blogger eskadoni said...

i usually don't make direst attacks, but are you a moron anonymous?

as for the story, i agree that it is a losing battle that we don't even seem to know how to fight. i wish we cared more about educating people about the consequences of their actions more than telling people what they can or cannot do.

November 1, 2004 at 6:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What an unpleasant reply. Perhaps my point wasn't driven home as I had intended.
It's likely that I know more about the war on drugs that you, as I deal with it on a street level each day.
As an answer to the harsh question, I will reply with one. Are you always so rude to strangers?

November 1, 2004 at 11:22 PM  
Blogger Liberal_Slayer said...

My point in using this article is that the drug war is a futile enterprise because of the laws of supply and demand. So long as there is a demand, there will always be supply. You CAN stem the demand through proper education (and I don't mean D.A.R.E) by really SHOWING the youth what drugs do...unfortunately, too many people are wimps to allow that to happen.

Anonymous, you draw an incorrect analogy in using antibiotics. People are prescribed antibiotics on the advice of a doctor to help them get rid of whatever bug they have. They can choose not to take the antibiotics and not get well. On the other hand, people freely choose to ingest narcotics KNOWING how dangerous they are to both the mind and body.

As a former police officer, I saw firsthand what narcotics do to people...but I also know the futility of trying to stop people from doing them. Please read my earlier post where I detail further the futility of the drug war.

Just as prohibition did little to stem alcohol use, the drug war has done little to stem drug abuse.

November 2, 2004 at 7:16 AM  

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