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Thursday, December 22, 2011

So the drug war works then?

As the FBI released its national crime statistics for the first half of 2011 on Monday, showing violent crime and property crime down across the board, a group of anthropologists at City University of New York floated a theory for the ongoing crime reduction in New York that they extrapolated nationally: Crime is falling because drugs are getting cheaper. In short, the thinking goes that most crime is drug-related in general, usually committed by users to pay for their fix. So if drugs are cheaper, users will commit fewer crimes to buy them.

The problem, of course, is that one of the goals of the drug war is to RAISE prices of drugs, thereby making them harder to afford, so that--in the words of the Office of National Drug Control Policy--people who are using drugs will stop using them and those not using them will be less likely to start using drugs in the first place!

This article makes Ronald Reagan, who stepped up the war on drugs in 1980s, seem like a genius. Step up a policy that will fail to achieve its goals but will reduce crime anyway!

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