Archive for April 30th, 2010

Drug Czar Supports More of the Same                                                        

The International Centre for Science in Drug Policy (ICSDP), a nonprofit organization of scientists, health care practitioners, and academics based in Canada and Britain, released a report this week that found that when government cracks down on the drug trade the result is an increase in violence.  The group reviewed over 300 international studies from the last 20 twenty years.  87 percent of the studies reviewed show a direct correlation between intensified drug law enforcement and drug market violence. 

Of course, this should come as no surprise since even without scientific literature anyone can point to examples from history.  The largest lesson to be learned from the prohibition of alcohol in the 1920s was that when government bans a demanded commodity consumers will find a way to get it and suppliers will find a way to supply it – unfortunately more often than not through the use of violence.  Thus, prohibition was a boom to organized crime in the 1920s as its profits soared and crime rates rose.  Similarly, the Drug War in the United States has had few if any victories in regards to reducing drug use and violence on our streets continues to be its biggest shortcoming.  Finally, the current Drug War in Mexico has been a catastrophe for that country.  There have been massive increases in gun violence, beheadings, and kidnappings since Felipe Calderon started the crusade.  Close to 23,000 deaths are attributed to the intensified drug law enforcement.  Worst yet, Mexico’s Drug War no longer threatens to spill over into our country, it is already here.

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Article first published as Drug Czar Supports More of the Same on Blogcritics.org

Kenn Jacobine teaches internationally and maintains a summer residence in North Carolina.

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