U.S. Official Urges Europe To Combat Rising Drugs

U.S. Official Urges Europe To Combat Rising Drugs
Posted by FoM on October 24, 1999 at 08:09:21 PT
By David Briscoe, Associated Press
Source: Austin American Statesman
Illegal drug use is falling in the United States but rising sharply in Europe, U.S. officials say. The amount of drugs seized in Europe more than doubled this year as South American traffickers targeted the continent. 
Barry McCaffrey, President Clinton's chief drug policy adviser, is holding a series of drug summits across Europe this week to address the problem. He also is pushing for a drug-free Olympics. Anti-drug authorities classify 13 million Americans as current illegal drug users, compared with 25 million in 1980. Cocaine use has dropped the most dramatically, from 5.7 million in 1985 to 1.8 million, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy. Comparable statistics are not available for most of Europe, although surveys taken in recent years show cocaine use ranging from 0.5 percent of the population in Belgium to 3.3 percent in Spain. Ross Deck of McCaffrey's office, who has been meeting with European officials tracking drug use, said there is ample evidence that drug use is increasing across Europe, although countries are only beginning to compile statistics. "Cocaine is looking for new markets," McCaffrey said Thursday, and it's finding them in Europe, where attitudes toward some narcotics differ from those in the United States. The latest report by the International Narcotics Control Board cited increased demand for illegal synthetic drugs in Europe and said heroin use is up in some countries. It said preventing illegal drug use is difficult on a continent "where it is increasingly being viewed as an almost normal cultural phenomenon." It said cocaine use is not seen as a major public health problem. The board in Vienna, Austria, said Europe is not only a major destination for drugs, including heroin, but also an emerging producer of marijuana and illegal synthetic drugs such as ecstasy. McCaffrey is set to leave today for meetings with officials in Britain, Belgium, Portugal and France. He said his message will be that cocaine is not a "soft" drug and that Europeans should contribute more in the battle against narcotics from Latin America. McCaffrey urged Europeans to help curb the flow of 700 metric tons of cocaine a year from Colombia, Bolivia and Peru -- half of which ends up on U.S. streets. He credited good police work by the Spanish and Dutch for much of a sharp increase in cocaine seizures this year, but he said the increase in busts every year for six years "is indicative of a changing problem." McCaffrey said Europeans should contribute more to alternative economic development in the Andean region and step up efforts to stop drug production and money laundering. "They are now the target of a drug threat that is searching for new customers," McCaffrey said. His trip also will focus on curtailing the use of performance-enhancing drugs in sports. This coincides with the Nov. 14-17 Australian sports summit aimed at eliminating drug use by athletes in the 2000 Olympics. McCaffrey's office estimates that 80 to 130 metric tons of cocaine is available for consumption in Europe, with expected seizures this year of 40 to 50 metric tons. In the first six months of the year, seizures were already double those of last year, it said. The report estimates that 57 percent of the South American cocaine flowing into Europe lands in Spain or Portugal, 15 percent in the Netherlands, 6 percent in Belgium and 7 percent at unknown entry points. By David BriscoeAssociated PressSunday, October 24, 1999Related Article:Illegal Drug Use Down in U.S., Up in Europe - 10/21/99
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Comment #1 posted by kaptinemo on October 24, 1999 at 08:44:14 PT
New DrugWarriors
The drug producers are not the only ones looking for new markets.So are the Drug Warriors. They are looking for new markets to sell their anti-drug ideology... and products. But, the Europeans are a good deal more savvy than Americans are. They've dealt with missionaries for lost causes before. And, they know better than anyone the dangers of fanaticism. Particularly when it is combined with mercantilism... after all, they were the first colonialists. (They also know Puritanism when they see it; after all, they threw it out of their own countries when it started telling them how to live their lives. And where did that particularly odious philosophy take root? Right here in the good ol' US of A! Yes sir, they see the McCzar coming, all right. They also remember the slander and libel he committed against his hosts when he visited Holland, and lied about their crime statistics. He's not exactly welcome there, except by their own home-grown self appointed morals proctors.)So, I'd expect some degree of rancor and threats by the McCzar to come out of this, but you will never hear anything about it from the bought-and-paid-for US media. Thank God for the Internet!
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