Conventional Reflex Prejudice is no substitute for hard facts in formulating a rational policy to minimise societal harm in the use of Mind Altering Addictive Drugs

The article below from the London Independent concludes that the evidence
for the conclusion that police success in the “Drugs War” has a perverse
effect on the level of violent crime in society. Evidence for the validity
of that theory or thesis is already self-evident in Dublin. So when you
hear politicians emoting about DRUGS and the whole culture and DOING
something about it, remember the facts described in the article below and
smile at the cynicism or ignorance or illiterate stupidity of what passes
for debate in the public arena. Leadership,honesty and bravery are rare
qualities or traits among Irish politicians especially those elected.

Crackdowns on drug dealers led to rise in violent crime, study finds

By Cahal Milmo, Chief Reporter

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Police crackdowns to cut the supply of illegal drugs by removing dealers
and criminal overlords actually lead to rises in drug-related violence, gun
crime and murder, according to an international study. A review of 20 years
of research into drug enforcement has found that attempts to snuff out the
trade in illegal substances have the opposite effect to that intended, by
creating a power vacuum when drugs barons are imprisoned which is rapidly
filled by competitors eager to fight each other for the newly-vacated

Campaigners for the reform of drugs policy said the findings, which follow
numerous studies showing that prohibition has failed to stop narcotics from
becoming more plentiful, added to the pressure on governments to declare
the “war” on the £200bn global illicit drugs industry over, and adopt a
policy of controlled legalisation.

The study by the Canada-based International Centre for Science in Drug
Policy (ICSDP) found that heavy-handed tactics, ranging from attempts by
the American-sponsored Colombian armed forces to eradicate drug cartels to
the arrest of dealers in Sydney, had led to increases in violence. Often,
this violence is fuelled by criminals arming themselves to profit from
price rises caused by seizures of drugs or the dismantling by police of
dealing networks.

The assessment of 15 reports on the relationship between violence and drug
enforcement, presented yesterday at an international conference in
Liverpool, found that 87 per cent of studies reported that police seizures
and arrests led directly to increased violence.

Dan Werb, co-author of the ICSDP document, said: “The convention has been
that law-enforcement action to reduce the availability of drugs, thereby
increasing drugs prices and decreasing supplies, also has the effect of
reducing violence. Not only has prohibition been found to be ineffective
with regard to price and supply; this study has also shown that it is
accompanied by an increase in drug-related violence.

“Prohibition drives up the value of banned substances astronomically,
creating lucrative markets and worldwide networks of organised crime.
Unfortunately, the evidence suggests that any disruption of these markets
through drug-law enforcement seems to have the perverse effect of creating
more financial opportunities for organised crime groups, and gun violence
often ensues.”

The study, which highlights the drug-related violence gripping Mexico as an
example of the vicious circle fuelled by crackdowns, said researchers in
Florida had recorded a five-fold increase in violence and property crime
linked to drug arrests. Another study of six US cities found that attempts
to shut down crack markets led to increased homicide rates in four of them.

A six-year Australian investigation into drug dealing in Sydney found that
the arrest of dealers and subsequent disputes between rivals had
contributed to murders and a substantial rise in non-fatal shootings with

Campaigners for a regulated market in drugs said the study bolstered the
argument for legalising drugs and introducing a sliding scale of controls,
ranging from membership of coffee-shop style premises for the sale of
cannabis to licensed pharmacies selling cocaine.

A spokesman for the Transform Drug Policy Foundation said: “We have a
government in pathological denial of the negative impact of a
prohibition-based drugs culture. Which other global industry worth £200bn
is left in the hands of organised criminals rather than being taxed and
properly regulated?”