Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Perverse Effect of Roger Christie's imprisonment

"As US economist and Nobel laureate
Milton Friedman observed in a 1991 interview
on the public television program America’s
Drug Forum: “If you look at the drug war from
a purely economic point of view, the role of the
government is to protect the drug cartel.” From
a global perspective, prohibitions on all presently
illegal drugs have resulted in a massive illegal
market that the United Nations has estimated
is worth $320 billion. These profits remain
entirely outside the control of governments.
They fuel crime, violence and corruption in
countless communities and have destabilized
entire countries such as Colombia, Mexico and

"Regarding the link between drug law enforcement and
violence, a recent systematic review of English
language research papers that evaluated the
association between drug law enforcement
and violence demonstrated that, rather than
improving community health and safety,
drug prohibition contributes to violence in
communities by empowering organized crime
groups that use violence to gain or maintain
market share of the lucrative drug market.
This review described a literature indicating that
successful law enforcement interventions appear
to have the perverse effect of making it more
profitable for new suppliers to get involved in the
market by removing key players."

International Centre for Science in Drug Policy (ICSDP)
"Tools For Debate"

It is criminal that Roger Christie remains in prison, when the government that keeps him there has admitted that doing so has "the perverse effect of making it more profitable for new suppliers to get involved in the market."