1. LearnLiberty just released the video above (“Why Are So Many Violent Criminals Walking Free?“) that highlights just one of the tremendous human costs of America’s failed, expensive and cruel War on
Drugs Peaceful Americans Who Use Intoxicants Not Currently Approved of by the Government: the diversion of law enforcement resources away from violent crimes with victims, which frequently go unsolved and allow violent criminals to walk free, towards law enforcement activities for arresting and prosecuting Americans for victimless crimes like possession of weeds.
2. If the War on Drugs was succeeding, wouldn’t that success show up in measurable outcomes that would include: a) a reduction in the supply of drugs available for sale, and b) increased prices for drugs in response to the reduced supply?
According to a new study published in the online journal BMJ Open, the international evidence suggests that exactly the opposite is happening, leading the six researchers from the US and Canada who conducted the study to conclude that the drug war is failing. Here’s a summary of some of the study’s findings from the press release:
The researchers analyzed data from seven international government-funded drug surveillance systems, which had at least 10 years of information on the price and purity of cannabis, cocaine and opiates, including heroin. They also reviewed the number of seizures of illegal drugs in drug production regions and rates of consumption in markets where demand for illegal drugs is high.
Three major trends emerged from the data analysis: the purity/potency of illegal drugs either generally remained stable or increased between 1990 and 2010; with few exceptions, the street price generally fell; and seizures of drugs increased in both the countries of major supply and demand.
In the US, after adjusting for inflation and purity, the average street price of heroin, cocaine and cannabis fell by 81%, 80%, and 86%, respectively, whereas the purity and/or potency of these drugs increased by 60%, 11%, and 161%, respectively.
On the basis of the data, the authors conclude, as previous studies have, “that the global supply of illicit drugs has likely not been reduced in the previous two decades.” They add: “In particular, the data presented in this study suggest that the supply of opiates and cannabis have increased, given the increasing potency and decreasing prices of these illegal commodities.”
And they conclude: “These findings suggest that expanding efforts at controlling the global illegal drug market through law enforcement are failing. It is hoped that this study highlights the need to re-examine the effectiveness of national and international drug strategies that place a disproportionate emphasis on supply reduction at the expense of evidence based prevention and treatment of problematic illegal drug use.”
HT: Morgan Frank
3. A Texas marijuana grower and a California man who might have been a drug dealer were killed by police in separate incidents last week. The two men become the 31st and 32nd persons killed in US domestic drug law enforcement operations so far this year.