Monday, September 28, 2009
The article is in today's San Diego Union Tribune. Here's the lead:
EL PASO, Texas — It's been called the U.S. war on drugs — a tough-minded government policy that for decades has targeted traffickers and addicts with prosecution and punishment.
But that policy came into question last week during a conference that brought together an unusually broad grouping of policymakers, academics and community activists from Mexico and the United States.
Instead of discussing how to capture more drug lords, seize bigger caches of weapons and further beef up border security, they proposed alternatives such as creating social programs to raise the quality of life for impoverished Mexicans vulnerable to joining the drug trade. They also advocated for comprehensive programs to prevent and treat drug addiction on both sides of the border, expand needle-exchange programs and decriminalize the use of marijuana so it can be better regulated.