Legalization is the Solution to Drug-Related Crime

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How many times have you heard the local news lead a story with the phrase "drug-related"? Probably too many times to count. Indeed, it is an expression so thoroughly imbedded in the media lexicon that it qualifies as a kind of unintentional propaganda.

Like all successful propaganda, "drug-related" has become so hackneyed that no one bothers to examine its fundamental truthfulness. And, also like successful propaganda, the phrase is rarely a complete falsehood but at the same time is rarely completely truthful. Drugs are often given central importance as the key motivating factor for crime, artfully shifting attention away from what is really central.

The "drug-related" crime -- with the exception of some domestic crime -- to which the media refer, is, in fact, crime motivated by something else. People are actually fighting and stealing for what they have always fought and stole for: money.

Drugs = money = power

This distinction may well seem obvious or even trivial, but it is in fact absolutely crucial. The general public, exposed as it has been to thousands upon thousands of these so-called "drug-related" events, accepts the current drug laws as if they were as natural as a blue sky or green grass.

Year after year, politicians of every stripe, hoping to gain some cheap political mileage, call for tougher drug laws. That even a small portion of the polity believes tougher laws will solve such problems as addiction, crime or even the rising tide of gang violence is incredible. For never in the century or so that drugs have been outlawed has the public benefited in any way from tough drug laws.

There is little understanding of just how central our drug policies are in aggravating a host of national and inter...

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...over the last two decades.

Drugs and corruption

Daniel Bell, the eminent and incredibly prescient Harvard sociologist, made many accurate assessments of post-war trends during his remarkable and productive career. Upon experiencing the 1991 fall of the Berlin Wall, in what would be among his last public observations, Bell warned that, with communism no longer a force, the gravest threat to democracy would now come from a rapid and insidious spread of corruption.

Over the past decade a host of countries have experienced alarming and destabilizing levels of corruption. While not all of this corruption is related to the illicit drug trade, drug dealers are probably by far the largest single force for corruption worldwide. And remember that this corruption is not "drug-related," it is corruption greased by what corruption has always been greased by: money.

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