by Ron Paul: End
In light of
the recent drug-related violence in Mexico, it is appropriate to
reflect on how our current prohibition laws affect crime, law enforcement
and the economy.
Many will have
the knee-jerk reaction of wanting to see more of a crackdown on
illegal drugs. But I have to ask: Haven’t we been cracking down
on drugs for several decades only to see the black market flourish
and the violence escalate? Could there be a more effective approach?
of drugs is, in fact, the Number One factor that keeps profits up
for dealers and cartels, and ensures that organized crime dominates
example, has about a 17,000-percent markup and sells for more than
gold in some areas. This is nothing new or unique to drugs, but
a predictable outcome of prohibition.
prohibition, Al Capone and others involved in organized crime made
fortunes taking advantage of the dangerous and lucrative underground
market the laws had created. Every time law enforcement makes another
bust, profits rise for the remaining suppliers. These types of economic
forces are insurmountable for law enforcement, but make for very
good business for dealers and cartels.
For the rest
of us, however, it is a disaster. The war on drugs keeps our prisons
full to bursting at great expense to taxpayers, but also at great
danger to the public at large when the real criminals, the murderers,
the rapists, the child molesters, are let out to make room for non-violent
Paul is a Republican member of Congress from Texas.