In my previous post on this subject of ending drug violence, I talked about how black markets and the violent crime that flows from them are created by government prohibition . This is what prohibition of any substance or material, causes. If the federal government made drinking water illegal tomorrow, black markets and criminals that manipulate them would crop up overnight. If milk – yes, milk, were for some reason made illegal, there would be criminals dealing milk – complete with controlling territories to distribute it. Violent crime would be created, complete with gangs and turf wars. Police would battle these gangs and murders and mayhem would follow. Raids would be conducted, arrests would be made, defendants would be prosecuted, billions of dollars would be spent – and the crime bosses that controlled the production and distribution of water or milk would never be defeated.
I know may people just won’t believe this. They think the best thing we can do, is just keep fighting and prosecuting Massachusetts drug crimes, and drug crimes all across the country. My response is based on three different qualification levels: 1) As a Massachusetts drug crimes lawyer; 2) As someone who has a degree in Economics, and 3) As someone who is a student of history. NO AMOUNT of government arrests and prosecution of drug criminals will EVER eliminate the presence of drug lords, drug dealers, drug users, or drug victims. It is sociologically, politically, and legally impossible. I refer you to one simple word: Prohibition. When the federal government illegalized alcohol in 1920 through the Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, a black market for all kinds of alcohol was created overnight. It took less than a few weeks for major criminal enterprises to erupt, the most famous being led by Al Capone. Thousands of murders were committed; violence in cities and towns across America erupted; tens of thousands of arrests were made. Hundreds of millions of dollars (in 1930’s value) were spent battling it through police departments and court prosecutors, led by Elliot Ness and his “Untouchables.” The end result? Utter failure. Finally, after 13 years and hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars spent, the federal government woke up and ended prohibition in 1933, through the ratification of the Twenty-first Amendment, which repealed the Eighteenth Amendment. A massive waste.
If we legalized drugs that are illegal today, we would achieve two positive and immediate effects: 1) We would destroy the power, control, and the wealth that illegal drug organizations now control. Whether drug lords in Colombia and Mexico, or drug dealers on the streets of our cities, they’d be out of business, overnight. The violence and terrorism that surrounds drug use would cease. 2) We could treat users of unhealthy and addictive drugs as health problems, not lock them up as criminals. In the process, we would save billions of taxpayer dollars, make our communities safer places to live, and help addicts recover by putting them in clinics, not jails. As a Norfolk County Massachusetts drug offenses lawyer with decades of experience handling Massachusetts drug cases, I can assure you this is so. For those who are still unconvinced, I suggest they visit this site: Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, a progressive organization of present and former police officers and other law enforcement officials, as well as former prosecutors, who agree: Keeping drugs illegal only creates crime and keeps drug addicts hostage to their addictions.