Saturday, May 19, 2007

Prohibition = Crime

Prohibition causes crime. It is so obvious that it shouldn't have to be talked about. Problem is, too many people ignore the obvious in favor of emotional arguments against "bad" things.

In 1920, the "Noble Experiment" more commonly known as Prohibition was instituted. I think it is important to note the reasons for passing the 18th Amendment. The intention was to "reduce crime and corruption, improve health, solve social problems and reduce the tax burden created by prisons and poorhouses."

What we saw instead was a rise in gangs and the mobs. Violence was introduced to society as groups fought over the distribution of a highly profitable product. I am not sure how much, if at all, alcohol was taxed at that time, but with the taxation that is on it now it is actually a large stream of revenue for the State.

Prohibition caused an artificial rift between regular law-abiding Citizens and the Law as many regular people had to hide their activities from the police. This causes distrust of the police as well as creates corrupt cops as those gangs seek to protect their distribution and are more than willing to buy off the police.

Which brings us to today. This past week in Mexico a drug cartel had made some sort of agreement with the police in Cananea, Mexico which is just across the border from Arizona. A total of 23 are dead including 5 cops and as of this time more than 15 cops have resigned, likely due to the danger. The attack was a retaliation against cops who had gone against the deal they had made with the cartel.

Now these drugs are quite obviously headed for American soil. America prohibits all these drugs, but the public demands it anyways. The combination of demand and Prohibition creates artificially high prices and therefore high profits. These profits create a huge incentive to enter the drug distribution market as well as a desire to grow your personal distribution. It is that incentive that creates the violence that we see in the drug trade, both locally and abroad.

The violence on the border this week is caused by the exact same thing that causes gang violence in our cities: Prohibition. It is time that we end this violence. We have lost the "war" and no amount of increased violence on the part of the Government is going to win it.