Sunlight reflects right off the ice and snow at this scenic spot just above Tahquamenon Falls in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Daily Photo by ALAN BILINSKY
Cocaine brings 'big
b ucks'to Colombians
BOGOTA, Colombia (AP)-Cocaine
smuggling from Colombia, with the
United States thE main destination, has
grown -so big as to rival coffee as the
country's largest export, law enfor-
cement officials ay.
Colombia supples 70 percent of the
illegal cocaine consumed in the United
States, with most of the rest coming
from southeast 'sia. Some estimates
put the value of .he drug smuggled out
of the country list year at $1.5 billion,
equal to coffee Ornings.
SOME ECOOMISTS believe the
record 29 percent inflation last year in
Colombia was iue as much to the influx
of drug moneyas to skyrocketing coffee
prices. And ociologists think the in-
crease in theamount of illicit money,
mostly dollas, has given growth to a
new upper-noddle class.
Colombia,fearing the situation even-
tually may hreaten the stability of the
governmen, has created a special anti-
cocaine stike force to be trained by
Americanadvisers. The United States
has invesed $600 million in Colombia
since 19740 combat the drug trade and
as muchas $600 million more may be
added ir the next two years, officials
The ise in cocaine usage in the
United States has relegated
marijuna to a lower spot on the
prioritr list of American law enfor-
"SC MANY AMERICANS are using
mariuana and so little has been proved
abou whether it is really dangerous to
yourhealth, that we think it is just not
worth wasting a lot of effort in the
marijuana deal," said an American
drug expert here who asked not to be
"But cocaine is serious business, and
it is gradually becoming as mass con-
sumption a drug as marijuana, and this
troubles American leaders," he said.
The coca bush, the leaves of which
provides the raw material for the drug,
grows in Colombia, but the local variety
is said to be poor. Higher quality leaves
come from Peru and Bolivia where
they are reduced to paste and smuggled
into Colombia by nearly every means
imaginable-cars and trucks, air-
planes, canoes and animals, among
In Colombia, it is processed in
.laboratories spread throughout the
country. New laboratories spring, up
almost as fast as police find them and
destroy them, drug enforcement of-
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