When Winning the Drug War Meant Losing the DEA

Bolivian marching powder no more. (Shutterstock photo)

Bolivian marching powder no more.
(Shutterstock photo)

When the US Drug Enforcement Agency was unceremoniously told to get the heck out of Bolivia, the usual hand wringers wrung their hands over another big loss in the Drug War. But now there’s this:


After the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) was kicked out of Bolivia, the country was able to drastically reduce the amount of coca (cocaine) produced within its borders. According to data released by the United Nations, cocaine production in the country declined by 11% in the past year, marking the fourth year in a row of steady decrease.

It was just seven years ago that the DEA left Bolivia — and only three years after that, progress was finally made. The strategy employed by the Bolivian government may be a surprise to many prohibitionists because it did not involve any strong-arm police state tactics. Instead, they worked to find alternative crops for farmers to grow that would actually make them more money.

Read the whole thing.

You can’t fight drugs with strong-arm prohibition tactics, any more than they worked against alcohol in the 1920s.

Imagine what we could do here if we kicked the DEA out of this country.


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