Comments on: Mexico-U.S. caravan calls for end to War on Drugs Chicago Community Stories Thu, 03 Apr 2014 01:18:42 +0000 hourly 1 By: Roger_Murdock Mon, 03 Sep 2012 12:17:44 +0000 This is not hard to understand. The war on (some) drugs fuels violence because the “WAR” on drugs IS violence. It’s the policy of sending men with guns to arrest the sellers of certain drugs and their customers and lock them in government cages. All of the OTHER violence that surrounds the (non-alcohol, non-tobacco) drug trade is fundamentally a REACTION to that initial state-sponsored violence. Prohibition renders contracts unenforceable and makes it impossible for competitors to use the courts or the police to challenge intimidation or settle disputes. There are plenty of legal businesses that might love to “kill the competition,” but that only becomes a viable strategy under the black market conditions that prohibition creates. (Note that nobody from Coke or Pepsi has their decapitated corpse hung from a bridge as a result of the so-called “Cola Wars.”) Prohibition also raises the prices of illicit drugs and hence their profitability. (Econ 101: risk demands compensation.) This only increases sellers’ incentives to do “whatever it takes” to capture market share. Today you don’t see rival booze distributors engaging in deadly shoot-outs over turf, but you USED TO — during alcohol prohibition. Run a Google image search for “U.S. homicide rate graph” (not all together in quotes). Take a look at the murder rate before, after, and during alcohol prohibition (1919-1933). Then read some current news out of Mexico (pretty much any news will do). Spot a pattern? The use of state violence to address what is really a medical and health issue (as well as a matter of individual liberty and personal choice) has been a disaster. And it needs to stop.