The apparent success of the fumigation campaign is not just illusory but also counter-productive.  Fumigation is the crucial impetus to a destructive cycle in which poor farmers destroy natural habitats to grow coca, which are then destroyed, together with nearby crops, by fumigation, which induce poor farmers to destroy other natural habitats to produce coca, which are then destroyed by fumigation, and so on.  It is a vicious and ultimately unnecessary cycle that contributes nothing to reducing drug abuse or economic stabilization or law and order.  Not just Colombia but also the United States and other countries in Latin America would most benefit if coca production were legally controlled and regulated, and international conventions modified to allow international commerce in low potency coca-based products.


Ethan Nadelmann

Executive Director

Drug Policy Alliance


July 2004





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