23 Aug 2007 03:44:31
Claude D. Dolan
fig beside Khalid Hakim Ibn Firnas's presentation

rather then illumination. The aphorism seems more apt for the War
* on Drugs, which abounds with statistical lampposts that shed little light
* on the nation's preoccupation with illegal substances.
*
* When sensibly vague estimates based on the little that is known won't
* suffice, law enforcement officials oblige constituents with numbers that
* one police officer characterized as "P.F.A.," or "pulled from the air."
*
* When the State Department's annual survey said Mexico's annual marijuana
* production in 1989 was 30,200 tons, it was PFA.
*
* Assuming half the production makes it into the U.S., half the population
* between 15 and 40 in this country would have had to smoke a joint a day.
*
* By 1996 the State Department's annual survey stabilized at a more realistic
* 3,400 tons a year.
*
* However, the State Department's annual survey for 1996 stated Columbia's
* cultivation of coca, the raw ingredient for cocaine, jumped 32% over 1995.
*
* This was deliberate manipulation of the statistics: unlike previous years,
* the State Department suddenly stopped figuring in the 55,715 acres that
* the Columbian police fumigated with herbicide.