Letter: War on drugs

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The Independent Culture
Sir: As a chemist, I found your article on black cocaine (report, 8 September) to be particularly amusing. Heavy-handed government agencies are fighting an unjust war against plants and plant by-products that are in high demand. It stands to reason that producers and consumers will seek better alternatives in concealment.

For the past few years, I have been studying biochemistry and believe that all the tools needed to end this vicious war on drugs are in the hands of scientists. We have the means available to find the genes responsible for production of almost any chemical in plants. We can now copy these genes and introduce them into other plant species (yes, we call it cloning). In a few short years, the drug warriors could be attempting to eradicate new varieties of maize; let's call them "corncaine" and "cornijuana".

The governments fight with lies, coercion, and violence. The intellectuals fight with ideas and information. History will choose the victor.


Santa Cruz, California