Fighting gangs by legalizing pot

Just like alcohol prohibition produced gansters such as Al Capone, drug prohibition doesn’t prevent crime: it causes it. Legalize, tax, and regulate, end that crime, reduce drug use, and fund government services. While massively reducing the prison population and removing any excuse for private prisons. Sweden is pioneering the way.

Richard Orange wrote for GlobalPost yesterday, A win-win on drugs? Fighting gangs by legalizing pot,

Copenhagen’s city municipality voted in recent weeks, 39 votes to 9, to empower its social affairs committee to draw up a detailed plan to legalize cannabis.

If that plan is approved by Denmark’s new left-of-centre parliament next year, the city could become the first to legalize marijuana, rather than simply tolerate it, as police do in the Netherlands.

“We are thinking of perhaps 30 to 40 public sales houses, where the people aren’t interested in selling you more, they’re interested in you,” Mikkel Warming, the mayor in charge of social affairs at Copenhagen City Council told GlobalPost. “Who is it better for youngsters to buy marijuana from? A drug pusher, who wants them to use more, who wants them to buy hard drugs, or a civil servant?”

Not just drug toleration. Legalization:
“People who use marijuana are paying money to criminals, mostly to gang members, and it’s a market that every year, is worth up to two billion Danish kroner ($350 million). That’s enough to fight for, which is why we’ve had a war between the gangs in Copenhagen,” he said.

That’s why he doesn’t want to institute a system where smoking marijuana is tolerated in cannabis cafes, but officially illegal, and therefore profitable for criminals to grow and import.

There’s more in the article.

And with drugs no longer illegal, we’d have a lot fewer prisoners, not just fewer drug users, but fewer people in for drug-related crimes of all kinds. That would be sad for private prison companies such as CCA, which admits in its 2010 report to the SEC that legalization or even sentence reform would adversely affect its profits.

We don’t need a private prison in Lowndes County, Georgia. Spend those tax dollars on rehabilitation and education instead.