A quick thought about the drug war

Note: this is a half-formed thought, being quickly jotted down. But it seemed worthy of being pointed out.

So I saw a headline on Twitter: Iowa man complains to cops he was stiffed in drug deal. It certainly had the feel of one of those “ha ha, isn’t this guy dumb?” stories. But it gave me pause.

If we were talking about a Craigslist transaction for a used dresser or something similar, this wouldn’t be news. In fact, this would be an appropriate action for a defrauded individual to take. The only thing that makes this situation different is that the substance being sold is illegal.

So then, how do you enforce honesty in business transactions in a case like this? What recourse does a defrauded druggie–or drug lord–have?

The answer: violence. Round up some muscle, find the ones who did the defrauding, and make them hurt.

But isn’t this exactly the sort of behavior that makes our streets unsafe? Isn’t this very situation what leads to drive-by shootings and murders in back alleys?

Is the war on drugs making us safer? Or is it just creating more violence?

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3 responses to “A quick thought about the drug war

  • jon

    What are you saying? –should the police enforce this man’s complaint as a normal citizen? Should we encourage criminals to engage the justice system for a reduced penalty? (or no penalty at all?) Would they bite?

    Now you’ve got MY wheels turning, too.
    It may be a bit duplicitous, but giving informants immunity might reduce crime a lot faster over the long run. I suppose it depends on what the purpose of law enforcement is: Is it to reduce crime and make it safer for the general public? Or is it to administer some sort of moral/ethical “justice”?

    Also, speaking of violent crime… I’d be curious about your thoughts on “El Chapo”, the recent rash of murders across Chicago and the flourishing midwest/mexican drug cartel.

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