|Image from "The Crime Report"|
By Michael Liebowitz
While ending the drug war will undoubtedly diminish these types of crimes, I wish I could be confident of a more robust reduction. The reason I’m not is because I deem it unlikely that those who currently profit from the drug trade will suddenly get nine-to-five jobs, once the illegal drug trade is no longer an option. It seems more reasonable to suspect that they’ll find or create new illicit ways to make money. After all, the Mafia didn’t retire with the end of alcohol prohibition. Nonetheless, as we’ll see, there is some historical evidence (also from alcohol prohibition) that ending the drug war will cause a large drop in violence.
The first two types of violence are a result of prohibition, not an argument for it. As for pharmacological violence, while not unheard of, it is rare. In fact, the use of alcohol, a legal drug, is far more associated with violence than is the use of illegal drugs.
· Drugs have harmful effects, such as addiction and overdoses.
decriminalization of drug use and possession and “experiments” in legalization of illicit drugs.
So the war on drugs should end, but then what? While personally I believe that full legalization is the best way to go, it is certainly not the only available option. For instance, possession and use can be decriminalized, penalties can be reduced, mandated treatment can replace prison, and investment can be made in education and prevention. Certainly, all of these possibilities are better than what we currently have: A failed drug war that has led to violence, mass incarceration and broken families, in our country and around the world.