Stand with The Libertarian Institute

The Empire has us on the brink of nuclear Armageddon. The central bank has us flirting with economic-social collapse. Americans are increasingly paranoid of one another and simultaneously invested in wielding the state against one another.

The voices of the establishment are legion. The voices of dissent are few. Make your stand for liberty by supporting The Libertarian Institute today.

The War on Marijuana Impairs Fighting Real Crime

by | Nov 17, 2016

The War on Marijuana Impairs Fighting Real Crime

by | Nov 17, 2016

When writing about money laundering laws, I’ll sometimes highlight gross abuses by government and I’ll periodically make the usual libertarian arguments about privacy.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • reddit
  • LinkedIn
  • Buffer
But I mostly focus on how the laws simply don’t make sense from a cost-benefitperspective. Anti-money laundering laws and regulations impose large burdens on the private sector, which creates disproportionate hardship for the poor. Yet there’s no evidence that the laws actually hinder criminal activity, which was the rationale for imposing the laws in the first place.

I have the same attitude about the War on Drugs. Yes, I get upset that people are mistreated and it irks me as a libertarian that people aren’t free to make their own choices (even if they are dumb choices) about what to put in their bodies.

But what really gets me angry is the absurd misallocation of law enforcement resources. Consider this info from a recent WonkBlog column in the Washington Postabout the ever-expanding efforts of government to harass drug users.

“Federal figures on drug arrests and drug use over the past three decades tell the story. Drug-possession arrests skyrocketed, from fewer than 200 arrests for every 100,000 people in 1979 … hovering near 400 arrests per 100,000 people … despite the tough-on-crime push that led to the surge in arrests in recent decades, illicit drug use today is more common among Americans age 12 and older than it was in the early 1980s. Federal figures show no correlation between drug-possession arrests and rates of drug use during that time.”

But here’s the part that should upset all of us, even if we don’t like drugs or even if we think they should be illegal.

Instead of focusing on the fight against crimes that actually have victims (such as robbery, murder, rape, assault, etc), the government is squandering an immense about of time, energy, resources, and money on drug arrests.

“…arrests for drug possession continue to make up a significant chunk of modern-day police work. “Around the country, police make more arrests for drug possession than for any other crime,” the report finds, citing FBI data. “More than one of every nine arrests by state law enforcement is for drug possession, amounting to more than 1.25 million arrests each year.” In fact, police make more arrests for marijuana possession alone than for all violent crimes combined.”

That last sentence is breathtaking. Does anyone think that busting potheads is more important than fighting genuine crime?

Read the rest of The War on Marijuana Impairs Fighting Real Crime at the Foundation for Economic Education.

Our Books

thisone

Related Articles

Related

TGIF: On Liberty and Security

TGIF: On Liberty and Security

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." Benjamin Franklin's famous words are often quoted because, alas, they are always relevant. Whether Franklin meant what libertarians take him to have...

read more
Will Joe Biden Make the Trains Run on Time?

Will Joe Biden Make the Trains Run on Time?

“I intend to be the most pro-union President leading the most pro-union administration in American history," President Joe Biden promised last year. But Uncle Joe has found his “inner Mussolini” and nothing is as important as the trains running on time. Biden is...

read more

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This