I agree with “The failed war on drugs” (Jan. 3), which says, “The war on drugs in the United States has been a failure that has ruined lives, filled prisons and cost a fortune.” I spent three months in a federal prison over 10 years ago for an act of civil disobedience. Most of the women in prison with me should not have been there. They may have needed drug treatment but not time in prison away from their children. They were no danger to the community.
The war on drugs is a market issue. If there were not a market, we would not have a drug problem. We must make drug treatment available to all those who need it, not send them to prison. I have visited Colombia 12 times since 2001 and witnessed the impact of the drug war on small farmers in Colombia. In the name of the war on drugs, the United States poured billions of dollars into a war against poor farmers. Millions of people were displaced. If there were no market, then there would not be small farmers producing coca plants. It is a market issue.
It is long past time to end the war on drugs. Stop filling our prisons here in the United States with nonviolent drug offenders. We must fund drug treatment, not war in Colombia, Mexico and Honduras.
Gail S. Phares
Witness for Peace Southeast
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Stop ‘button’ rhetoric
Regarding “Trump boasts of bigger ‘nuclear button’ than North Korea’s” (Jan. 2): The president of the United States, who our senators support, has just made an official statement, through Twitter, to North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un that “I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!”
Were it not for the dire consequences, utter recklessness and extreme lack of judgment of this provocation, one could find the dark humor in it. However, this is not a movie or a reality TV show, and this eruption from a man who is supposed to be the leader of the free world taunting one of the most dangerous nations on the planet should have no place in global discourse.
It is time for our senators, Burr and Tillis, to speak out against this president, to put the safety of our state, our nation and our world above the interests of their political party.