Legalizing Drugs Won’t Make Organized Crime Disappear: Kerlikowske

U.S. National Drug Control Policy Director Gil Kerlikowske told an international meeting this week that legalizing drugs will not be a “silver bullet” that will make organized crime disappear.

Instead of arresting more users and building prisons for them, Kerlikowske said governments should focus on “a science-based approach to drug addiction as a disease of the brain that can be prevented, treated and from which people can recover,” Reuters reports.

Kerlikowske told the meeting that the U.S. federal government now spends more on drug prevention and treatment than domestic law enforcement. However, the United States is continuing its efforts to disrupt and dismantle criminal organizations around the world, he added.

Some Latin American countries are considering relaxing penalties for personal drug use. Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina favors legalization as a way to reduce crime and violence. Uruguay has considered a proposal to legalize marijuana.

On Wednesday, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Executive Director Yury Fedotov said the agency’s new drug report found a decline in the use of traditional drugs such as heroin and cocaine in some parts of the world, and an increase in the use of prescription drugs and new psychoactive substances.

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    September 3, 2016 at 6:31 AM

    What about a science-based approach to porn addiction and escalation, which is basically an identical issue? Why are illegal drug users increasingly being seen as “victims” that are somehow absolved of the responsibility for all the organized crime (e.g. murder, kidnapping, child killing etc) their habit has caused to date, yet porn addicts are made to wear the full responsibility for the upstream abuse their ‘habit’ causes? Seems like a double standard.

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    August 12, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    I can’t think of a single person other than U.S. National Drug Control Policy Director Gil Kerlikowske, who says legalizing drugs will make organized crime disappear. There will always be organized crime. What will happen after legalization is that the money that is a major funding source for organized crime will be removed. Making a false claim like that one does nothing but confuse the issues. Both Heroin and Cocaine are very cheap to manufacture and it’s the risk that makes the price of them so high. For a few dollars a month or two supply could be given to addicts removing the need to steal to get the money for it. Dispensed through pharmacy like other drugs, quality would be controlled as well as monitoring use and side effects. Having to see the doctor on an ongoing basis makes for an opportunity to place the addict into detox and recovery when they have that moment of clarity and decide to make the effort to stop using. It would cost a lot less than the war on drugs now, and access to these drugs would change from high schools to the doctors office.

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