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For years tobacco companies have sold products to the public despite scientific evidence that nicotine is addictive and that tobacco use can lead to serious, even deadly, illness. Many states, and indeed Erie County, are now suing the tobacco companies in an attempt to recoup money spent over the years to pay for medical treatment necessitated by tobacco-induced illnesses.

We now hear evidence that the CIA was aware that the same planes being used to ferry arms to the contras in the '80s were back-hauling Colombian cocaine to the United States. It's alleged that the CIA did nothing to stop this trafficking at the time, and, since then, Bill Casey, Ollie North and other highly positioned government figures tried to cover it up.

I believe that drug abuse and all of the other ills that have accompanied the growth of the drug culture are no less a scourge than anything caused by tobacco use.

If the CIA-contra connection is established, I suggest the radical idea that the states should sue the federal government, or parts of it, to recoup some of the costs incurred by the states to combat the insidious disease called drug abuse, specifically cocaine abuse, and associated social ills such as crime.

David Lee Bunch Buffalo

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