• Tonight’s Show: Prohibition

      In part of my show tonight, I’ll talk about how laws against prostitution, organ selling, and drug use hurt more people than prostitution, organ selling, and drug use do.

      The first argument against drug legalization is usually: “then more kids will abuse drugs!”  

      But there’s little evidence for that. The Netherlands has officially "tolerated" marijuana for 30 years. So is there violent marijuana crime? No. Fewer young people in Holland smoke marijuana than do Americans. Legalization took the mystique away. A Dutch minister of health said, "We've succeeded in making pot... boring."

      Anyway, America’s current war on drugs has failed to keep drugs away from kids: Teens say it’s easier to buy than cigarettes or beer, and more than a third say they could get it in just a few hours.

      But that hasn’t stopped the drug warriors at the Drug Enforcement Administration from putting out a pamphlet titled “Speaking Out Against Drug Legalization.”DEA

      Here’s one of the arguments in the taxpayer- funded pamphlet:

      [U]nder a legalization scenario, a black market for drugs would still exist. And it would be a vast black market. If drugs were legal for those over 18 or 21, there would be a market for everyone under that age. People under the age of 21 consume the majority of illegal drugs, and so an illegal market and organized crime to supply it would remain—along with the organized crime that profits from it.

      Just like how bootleggers from the prohibition era are still in business? The DEA says, yes:

      After Prohibition ended, did the organized crime in our country go down? No. It continues today in a variety of other criminal enterprises. Legalization would not put the cartels out of business; cartels would simply look to other illegal endeavors.

      But here’s the graph… the red part of line shows when alcohol was banned:

      prohibition

      Organized crime did go down once prohibition ended.

      Because it’s not the intoxicant that causes crime – it’s prohibition. That’s why we have Columbian drug gangs, but no French wine cartels or American Budweiser gangs.

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