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With a bipartisan vote of 263-146, the House recently approved a bill that included $1.7 billion to combat the drug cartels of Columbia with additional military aid.  In doing so, they perpetuated what could be one of the United States’ most misguided policies of recent history.
At least some Republicans can give themselves a pat on the back for attempting to remove the Columbian aid from the $13 billion foreign aid bill.  Unfortunately, today’s drug war is largely a Reagan-era Republican creation, so intoxicating that even the vast majority of liberals mindlessly defend it.  Regardless, both parties now overwhelmingly champion the war on drugs, leaving its opponents a mix of unlikely allies, from Nobel Laureate and economist Milton Friedman and conservative writer William F. Buckley Jr., to pothead hippies and the ACLU.
Begun by the Nixon administration, the initial goal of the drug war was interdiction oriented, as financial support was given to Latin American leaders that pledged to fight drug manufacturing.  The Reagan years witnessed a drastic escalation of…