Why is it that you can discuss Prohibition with someone and hear something like, "Oh, it was a terribly lawless period in this country; they tried to ban liquor and the murder rate went way up!" --But somehow, when four people show up dead in a drug deal gone wrong, that's a "violence" problem -- or even, as the Mayor of Indianapolis seems to think, a gun problem (it would be so much better, Mister Mayor, if the killers had beaten their victims to death with ball-peen hammers? Set them on fire?).
Point out that an awful lot of murders are illegal-drug-related (and most of those are drug-trafficking-related) and it seems nobody wants to be reminded of Al Capone; you can't even get good data on it, though one DOJ flyer appears to imply as many as a third of all murders are directly related to drug trafficking.
There were drug addicts and habitual users before we had drug laws, just as there were plenty of drunks before Prohibition. Banning the production, sale and interstate transport of alcohol didn't stop them drinking -- but it did enrich and empower a criminal underclass. It did produce an increase in the murder rate.
You do the math. Yeah, yeah, yeah, stoned truckdriver, etc. Got news for you: they're stoned now. And if they go seek help for it, they're admitting to criminal behavior. Some incentive!
If you want to stop the violence, stop incentivizing unlawful behavior. Let the drug-dealers duke it out on billboards, in print ads and via lobbyists like legit drug companies and soda-pop makers. The users are already using.
(Want another example, a bit less historical, a bit less steeped in reruns of The Untouchables? Okay -- cigarette smuggling. Hike up them smoke-taxes and the addicts will stop smokin', right? Um, no.)
6 months ago