The drug connection is one that continues to resist analysis, both because cause
and effect are so difficult to distinguish and because the role of the drug-
prohibition laws in causing and labeling "drug-related crime" is so often
ignored. There are four possible connections between drugs and crime, at least
three of which would be much diminished if the drug-prohibition laws were
repealed. "First, producing, selling, buying, and consuming strictly controlled
and banned substances is itself a crime that occurs billions of times each year
in the United States alone" (Lindsmith Center). In the absence of drug-
prohibition laws, these activities would obviously stop being crimes. "Selling
drugs to children would continue to be criminal, and other evasions of
government regulation of a legal market would continue to be prosecuted; but by
and large the drug connection that now accounts for all of the criminal-justice
costs noted above would be severed" (Lindsmith Center).
Second, many illicit-drug users commit crimes such as robbery and burglary, as
well as drug dealing, prostitution, and many others, to earn enough money to
purchase the relatively high-priced illicit drugs. "Unlike the millions of
alcoholics who can support their habits for relatively modest amounts, many
cocaine and heroin addicts spend hundreds and even thousands of dollars a week"
(Lindsmith Center). If the drugs to which they are addicted were much cheaper-
which would be the case if they were legalized-the number of crimes committed by
drug addicts to pay for their habits would, in all likelihood, decline. Even if
a legal-drug policy included the a demand of relatively high taxes in order to
discourage consumption, drug prices would probably still be lower than they are
The third drug connection is the commission of crimes- violent crimes in
particular-by people under the influence of illicit drugs. "This connection
seems to have the greatest impact upon the... [continues]
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(1999, 10). Legalization of Drugs. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 10, 1999, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Legalization-Drugs-1021.html
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"Legalization of Drugs." StudyMode.com. 10, 1999. Accessed 10, 1999. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Legalization-Drugs-1021.html.