One of the side-effects of the all-out war on terrorism has been
a complete absence of any mention of the war on drugs. The two are
linked, however: Afghanistan is one of the largest opium exporters
in the world, and the Taliban, for all that they have eradicated much
poppy production, still have large stockpiles of heroin should they
need some extra cash.
As we all know, efforts to stamp out the supply of drugs are doomed
to fail, whether they occur in Afghanistan or Colombia: the best that
can be hoped for is that the supply moves to some other country. What
is needed is a clampdown on demand.
One would like to think that we have moved on from the days of Nancy
Reagan and Just Say No, but so far the US government seems
to have been singularly unsuccessful in persuading its population
to stop doing drugs. Now, they have a golden opportunity.
America is in the throes of anthrax paranoia. Everybody now knows
that anthrax is generally curable if it only gets into contact with
skin: the really lethal form of the disease occurs when the spores
are inhaled. So any terrorist organisation wishing to infect as many
people as possible with anthrax will attempt to ensure that it is
inhaled, rather than simply handled.
So: Start a rumour that terrorists have been adding anthrax spores
to cocaine supplies! With Americas present heightened state
of alert, cocaine consumption would plummet overnight. The United
States has an opportunity to strike a decisive blow in the war on
drugs, and where it counts the most: on the demand side, rather than
on the supply side.
Keep an ear out for the word on the street