Colombian ex-President Cesar Gaviria has been carrying on something of a speaking campaign against drug prohibition. The other week, he, Mexican author Carlos Fuentes and others argued in favor of drug depenalization at El Tiempo's symposium celebrating its 100 years of existence. (Will newspapers see another century? Another half century?)
|Bogotá DAS HQ bombed by Escobar|
So, you'd hope that at least one major figure, such as a European president or prime minister, or at least a health minister, would seize the cause of drug decriminalization and wave it. But if it's happened, I haven't heard about it (besides Holland and Portugal, which don't make much noise.) Prohibitionism has patently failed, and the alternative is out there, just waiting to be grabbed.
Apparently, many leaders, like Gaviria, wait until they're out of office to come out of the closet as supporters of decriminalization.
What really frustrates me is my belief that many national leaders, probably including U.S. Pres. Obama, ex-U.K. P.M. Tony Blair and others must certainly recognize that the War on Drugs has failed, but won't say so. They are war leaders, after all, and admitting defeat in any war, even a lost one, just doesn't look good.
The U.S. just announced that it's cutting Plan Colombia aid. That's sensible. But it doesn't likely mean a reassesment of its strategy here.
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours