May 26, 2016

There's a very easy way to destroy murderous drugs gangs for good

Posted in Irish Independent · 54 comments ·
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The news that another man has been killed in a war fuelled by money made from drug dealing, begs the question how long are we going to tolerate the illegality of drugs. Yes, the word used is tolerate!

How long are we going to tolerate a situation where drug money is fuelling the murderous activity of drug gangs, while the use of drugs is not decreasing, but increasing.

Prohibition is failing us. The drug bosses are getting richer and the prisons and courts are full to the brim with petty criminals who are nothing but cogs in a vast criminal enterprise.

The definition of insanity according to Einstein is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. We’ve been doing the same thing since I was a kid and drugs are not less conspicuous in our society but more available.

Is it time to change our drugs policy and begin moves to undermine these gangs by decriminalising certain drugs?

Here’s the reality. The war on drugs has failed. What we have now is not the “war on drugs”, but the “war of drugs”, where the profits central to the drug trade are controlled by a small but violent knot of mafiosi whose illicit cash gives them their power. Take the cash away and they’ll have no power.

The war on drugs has failed by any logical economic metric. There are more drugs now available than at any time in human history. Prohibition doesn’t appear to have had any material impact on drug use. The “war on drugs” has driven the price of the drugs upwards, making it a very profitable business. When the business is illegal, contracts are not enforced by law but by brute force and murder.

Prohibition always attracts criminals because the prohibition itself creates the business opportunity. Prohibition drives up profits by driving up the price. This is exactly what we saw in the USA during booze prohibition. Prohibition was a godsend for the mafia.

Similarly today, as the profits rise, more and more people are enticed into the business and deeper and deeper drug networks are forged, starting with the small-time dealer selling locally, right up to the big guy trading internationally.

Interestingly, at the bottom the profits are meagre, but the prize for the young guys getting involved in the drugs business is that one day, if they are violent enough, crafty enough and lucky enough not to be killed, they too can become the drugs baron.

But the truly interesting fact is that most drug dealers don’t live in some fine pad on the Costa del Sol, they actually live with their mammy.

In the book ‘Freakonomics’, which applies economic theory to diverse subjects, the authors proved that the vast majority of drug dealers in the US are small-time operators who live with their mammies, who probably make not much more than the minimum wage, yet take huge personal risks.

When the economists studied a notorious crack gang in Chicago, it turned out the gang worked a lot like most normal franchise businesses, such as McDonald’s. If you were to hold a McDonald’s organisational chart and the crack gang’s organisational chart side by side, you could barely tell the difference.

The crack gang was one of about 100 branches – franchises, really – of a bigger organisation. The franchise leader reported to a board of directors, employed three senior officers and, depending on the season, from 25 to 75 “foot soldiers” or street corner salesmen.

These foot soldiers lived with their mammies, making small money but all hoping to make it big one day.

If that’s the way American drug operations are set up, it seems fair to say that Irish ones are the same or broadly similar.

Therefore, the notion of the rich, off-shore, Ferrari-driving dealer is entirely false. The majority of people involved are at the bottom, like an economic franchise.

Except this business is illegal and therefore dangerous and the price of the drugs are much higher than they would be if the drugs were legal, like alcohol.

Four other specific implications flow from the high price of drugs. Addicts must shell out hundreds of times the real cost of drugs, so they have to rob to feed their habit. Petty crime goes through the roof. The higher the price, the more crime occurs just to buy the same amount of gear.

At the same time, those who deal find themselves carrying extremely valuable goods. Therefore, among the low-level dealers, crime, assault and murder increase because they are carrying extremely valuable cargo, despite not making much money personally.

The streets of the city become a battleground for turf among competing dealers.

This week, we saw what happens when these battles get out of control. When the returns are so substantial, criminals will do anything to dominate the business.

When drugs are legalised (and yes, I believe it is a matter of when, not if), the price will collapse, and so will drug-related crime.

Users will no longer need to steal to support their habit. Drug-related crime will fall to the same level as off-licence-related crime. When was the last time you heard about a person being killed at an off-licence for a bottle of vodka or being stabbed for a packet of 20 Marlboro Red?

Legalising drugs would also lead to a dramatic and permanent fall in our prison population. The majority of prisoners in Ireland are there because of drug-related crimes.

A few years ago, I went to Mountjoy Prison to talk economics to prisoners who were doing the subject in the Leaving Cert. These men were trying to get their act together, which must be almost impossible when you are inside. The vast majority of them were doing time for drug-related offences. These are only offences because, unlike fags and booze, drugs are illegal.

If the prisons are clogged up with drug-related offenders, so too are the courts. Legalising drugs would free up huge resources wasted in the legal system to enforce the war on drugs, which isn’t working at all. And think about the amount of Garda resources that would also be freed up.

Maybe the most obvious prize would be that legalising drugs would destroy the drug gangs. There would be no reason for them to be in business. This result alone has to be worth considering.

The only reason why these guys kill is because they are making a fortune.

There is no logical economic rationale for the present drugs policy. The war on drugs has failed, why not admit it and start rethinking this societal dilemma?

 


  1. Pat Flannery

    Maybe we might also get a Garda Commissioner who did not get to the top through a failed war on drugs making her a failed Garda Commissioner.

  2. JK

    Anyone against legalisation will find themselves on the wrong side of history. It is just a matter of time. However that does not mean it is a straight forward step. It would need to be planned thoroughly or it could be a disaster.

    How would we handle legalisation in this country if it continued to be illegal next door?

    These drugs are still bad for your health, how do we protect the young properly? Not like we do with alcohol.

    How do we avoid a powerful legalised drug distributing association getting undue influence on policy?

    How do we avoid becoming reliant on cash flows from taxation despite it being detrimental to the health and happiness of the people?

    It is a complex issue.

    But certainly, sticking the head in the sand is the worst and most irresponsible approach.

    • Tony

      “These drugs are still bad for your health, how do we protect the young properly?”

      Scare the crap out of them in similar ways some parents did when they found out their kids were smoking. The narcotic equivalent to 20 Major under the stairs.

      “How do we avoid a powerful legalised drug distributing association getting undue influence on policy?”

      The same way cigarette companies are ignored by governments today.

      “How do we avoid becoming reliant on cash flows from taxation despite it being detrimental to the health and happiness of the people?”

      Just don’t become reliant on it. Put it all aside and use it to treat those who may become dependant on drugs. Easier said than done? NO! It’s not. Just do it. Legislate for its use and put any government minister on trial for even suggesting that the money be used for building houses or subsidising farmers etc. Make it no-go money.

  3. Onda

    Agreed it is complex but many things are complex it just takes working out and the sooner they are legalised the better, has anyone calculated the potential tax take?

    • Tony

      Forgot the tax take. While any tax on drugs should be used for the purpose of helping addicts and addicts only, state revenue generation should be very, very far from the goal.

      Allowing the parasites in Kildare St. to control taxation on drugs will lead to some gun-toting entrepreneurial type getting a boat load of drugs and selling it on the street cheaper than the government approved stuff. Today it’s known as cigarette smuggling. Tomorrow it would be called “Square one”.

  4. goldbug

    DAVID

    IT IS A LOGICAL MISTAKE

    -> SOMETHING ILLEGAL HAPPENS?

    => THEREFORE LAWS DO NOT WORK

    FOLLOWING THAT LOGIC

    - HOW MANY ILLEGAL THINGS NEED TO BE MADE LEGAL?

    HARD DRUGS ARE BANNED BECAUSE THEY ARE DAMAGING TO SOCIETY

    => NOT TO STOP PEOPLE MAKING MONEY

    .
    .
    THE PUSH TO LEGALISE DRUGS BY THE ELITE?

    - THE REAL REASON?

    -> DESTROY SOCIAL COHESION

    => MAKE MORE COMPLACENT BraiN DAMAGED SHEEP

    HA.

    THE LAST GOLD RUSH OF THE 1%

    -> MILK THE LAST DROP FROM THE MASSES

    => BEFORE THE WHOLE THING COLLAPSES

    JUST ASK GEORGE SOROS -> https://www.rt.com/usa/soros-mpp-times-marijuana-189/

    • Irish PI

      @ Goldbug
      120 years ago you could buy hard drugs,poisions,explosives and guns over the shop counter in both Ireland and the UK. A cocaine addict was viewed with as much contempt as a alcoholic lying in the gutter at the time by society.Anyone misusing any of the above was considerd a criminal and punished by the law of the time,until progressive thinking on humanity and laws and presonal responsibility came into fashion and criminal misuse started to occur that is when prohibition of many wonderful things started to happen.
      Liquor was banned in the Volstead act in America,a hard drug of its time,making petty hoods like Capone or Jack Kennedy a rum runner,or drug courier of his time into millionares overnite.So much that he could push the Kennedy name into American politics somthing no other Irish fammily could do.So without drugs we would not have had an Irish Catholic American president.
      Another point of if prohibition works is this;Ireland has in the EU the most strictest gun control laws possible.Yet it is really not much of a bother for anyone to aquire a gun illlegally here if they need one and are willing to pay extortionate black market prices for it.
      At this point in time if the US who has spent trillions on this lost “war on drugs” and its combined military and law enforcement might hasnt made a dent in it ,apart from trampling all over te Bill of Rights.Isnt it about time we consider alternative methods to destroy the criminal elements?

      When did you last hear of a bunch of stoners having a big punch up in and outside a pub on a Saturday night? Ever hear of anyone” binge smoking?” This “its bad ban it” attitude in Ireland hasnt wont and never will work,we need to step outside the box in thinking and that takes courage.Somthing we as society and in leadership lack

      • yadayada

        No. Kennedy was rich long before prohibition. Corrupt business practices, yes, rum running as an explanation, no.

  5. Antaine

    Subscribe :-)

  6. Tony

    The massive profits in the drug business are akin to that of the tobacco business. The business model is essentially the same as selling cigarettes in the 70′s. Everyone knew it was bad, but nobody was very well educated about it. Tobacco Inc. had proponents in their customers where demand was initially created by manufacturers and followed by, in it’s simplest marketing form, word of mouth advertising from people who typically didn’t want to do it on their own, and so roped in their friends to be cool with (change “be cool” to “get stoned” and you get the picture).

    A marketing battle ensued, with Tobacco Inc. slaughtering its enemies. Governments fought from trenches with bayonets and infantry, while Tobacco Inc. used tanks, drones, and nukes. Things didn’t change until governments developed newer, more effective weapons. They educated the enemy’s potential customers, who in turn used word of mouth advertising to discourage their kids. Usage bans were an effective weapon, although increasing prices through taxation, while lauded as the great equaliser, helped create a black market where many of the products were not of the usual high standard and many were dangerous.

    So if it’s working in the “war on tobacco”, why isn’t there a similar campaign against drugs? Maybe it’s that the real enemy is not being attacked. Picking up minnows from the streets and locking them up is the same as the corner shop closing and being replaced by another around the corner also supplied supplied by Tobacco Inc. It’s a bit pointless taking the pawn while the King sits comfortably in the background. More likely it’s that the “war on drugs” has an enemy that won’t just go away and invest in food companies? The enemy in this war is more inclined to kill and maim.

    So to fight in a different, sensible and more appropriate way would make more sense. Excessive taxation enthusiasts can forget it. The drug barons aren’t going to hand over 23% too easily. And there’ll still be a black market that will just reduce the street price and make the stuff more physically dangerous due to mixing it down. And remember, kids don’t recoil from cigarette smoke because the things cost a tenner a packet. Putting pictures of diseased lungs on the box probably won’t work either,because they’re is no little or no packaging (these boys don’t need or worry about brands despite what Breaking Bad may have taught you). A workplace drug ban is unlikely to be effective as most people don’t get stoned while they’re in work anyway.

    So that leaves education. While it’s regarded as socially unacceptable to use drugs, most kids don’t really know this or care, for that matter. Drunk driving is frowned upon as well due primarily to education. I don’t know why, but my kids DO know that you shouldn’t drink and drive. Maybe it’s something to do with TV. And today you’re more likely to hear people talk about the chance of a drunk killing somebody in a car than be concerned about being arrested.

    My kids are 11 and 8, and are scared frozen by junkies and drunks they see on the streets of Dublin. I don’t imagine they’re alone.
    What scares them most is the way these poor unfortunates look. Skinny, filthy, and dishevelled for the most part. If the guy stumbles it just adds to the terror.

    Reproduce THAT in schools across the country. Let the cured junkies … eh sorry … reformed drug users … into the schools to tell the kids of the hell they went through. For visual effect bring in a couple of “out-of-their-brains” live action samples. Throw in a filthy, smelly rain jacket, a bloody syringe and a pair of crap covered jeans and there’s hardly a kid in the country who will forget the sight, never mind aspire to “be like the people who came into school today.”

    And when parents complain that their kids have been affected by the disgusting sight, tell them that it was designed to. The effect of “Narcucation”* (feel free to use that one, DMcW) should be to shock and frighten. A few nightmares won’t do any harm.

    * You heard it here first.

  7. yadayada

    I think I heard it here last as well

  8. EugeneN

    Bad article.

    Firstly the gangs involved here are the rich guys. Theres not too many foot soldiers around.

    Secondly drugs will never be legalised. It would have happened by now were it to ever happen.

  9. Could not agree more except for the logical extension.
    Legalize all drugs.
    government inspection guarantees quality
    guaranteed quality goes a long way to preventing death by accidental overdose.
    Set up government licenced drug stores.
    Each outlet to contain an advisory clinic to counsel those trying to kick the habit.

    There is no need to tax at all as the resulting savings of this policy would more than fund it. Police, law courts and prisons would see huge savings in monetary costs.

    doing the same thing aver again expecting different results being described as insanity applies to our central Banking system too. Throwing vast sums at the economy expecting improvement has not worked for 30 years for Japan, has not worked for the rest of the world and will not for reasons previously described.

    Just like the drug cartels we have the central banker cartel where the king pins get obscenely rich while the rest of the world gets screwed. The difference compared to the drug use is, the bankers are DECLARED LEGAL AND OPERATE WITH IMPUNITY. If treated the same way as the drug runners the jails would be full of banksters too.

    Turn the same thinking to the banking cartel and one saved humanity , not just the overdosed druggie.

  10. saved humanity = saves humanity

    • McCawber

      Re your email problem – Check that they have the correct one. Check things like spam software your firewall that sort of stuff.
      Look in your cookies to ensure you haven’t blocked something relevant.

      • Yes I get the original email notice each time. I get the box to check which I do when I respond in the blog the first time but then it disappears and there is no more action. I have to search all the postings to see if there are additions in the beginning or centre of the Thread.
        There is nothing in Trash or anywhere I can find the missing emails.
        Thanks for the suggestions.

  11. Emmet Fox

    Thanks for opening up this important debate and I think the 4 implications of the high-price of drugs is very useful and necessary part of any debate. However I think debate would be improved by reference to evidence-based sociology of crime and the case study of Portugal among others. Any reference to the largely presumptuous Freakonomics should come with caveats as it hopelessly oversimplifies and exaggerates tenuous links about claims it makes. See for critique Ben Fine’s book https://books.google.ie/books?id=fVp9AgAAQBAJ&pg=PA196&lpg=PA196&dq=freakonomics+sociology+critique&source=bl&ots=01NxYoDYyN&sig=6E8mdHKwBTxxtPA2Fddjc6a2V1k&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwigsdCR0_fMAhVIVRoKHb3gCm8Q6AEITTAG#v=onepage&q&f=false

    Also Gelman in American Scientist http://www.americanscientist.org/issues/pub/freakonomics-what-went-wrong/1

  12. onq

    I have been suggesting the legalization of drugs for some time.

    I believe the Portuguese model has something to recommend it.

    How will the snitches and mammy’s boys earn a living now?

    Not to mention the bent Gardai who benefit from drugs.

    Interesting to see whether FG grasps this nettle.

    On past performance they will fluff this up!

    • Truthist

      That is practically the whole of the Guards ;
      “A few rotten apples” is the aul tommy-rot to pawn off the public who have to suffer from the Peelers / Garda-Landlords.
      And, natural outcome of the few rotton apples in the bag is that the whole lot of ‘em become rotten.

  13. onq

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drug_policy_of_Portugal

    The problem with the Portuguese initiative is that it is mainly useful in dealing with drug related problems, not the ones discussed in this article.

    Portugal’s drug policy is therefore limited and only points the way towards what might be achieved with decriminalization.

    But just as with alcohol, you will still have extreme addiction and abuse leading to crime, plus unless there is a pro-active harm reduction policy in place You will still see high incidence of HIV and transmissible diseases.

    So decriminalization can only be part of the package.

    • Sideshow Bob

      The key line is the following one…

      ”In April 2009, the Cato Institute published a comprehensive case study of the decriminalization of drugs in Portugal.[2] Empirical data from that report indicate that decriminalization has had no adverse effect on drug usage rates. However, drug-related pathologies – such as sexually transmitted diseases and deaths due to drug usage – have decreased dramatically.” (referenced at the link above)

      It saves users lives and improves their health and increases the possibility that they will not clog up the older criminal justice system but there are costs for implementation it doesn’t affect gang related killing rates like the ones occurring in Dublin.

  14. onq

    https://mic.com/articles/110344/14-years-after-portugal-decriminalized-all-drugs-here-s-what-s-happening#.QuVAvepLJ

    14 Years After Decriminalizing All Drugs, Here’s What Portugal Looks Like

    Note the support systems in place – the offer of alternatives to help people get off hard drugs and a minimum income

    ””””””””

    At the turn of the millennium, Portugal shifted drug control from the Justice Department to the Ministry of Health and instituted a robust public health model for treating hard drug addiction. It also expanded the welfare system in the form of a guaranteed minimum income. Changes in the material and health resources for at-risk populations for the past decade are a major factor in evaluating the evolution of Portugal’s drug situation.

    Alex Stevens, a professor of criminal justice at the University of Kent and co-author of the aforementioned criminology article, thinks the global community should be measured in its takeaways from Portugal.

    “The main lesson to learn decriminalizing drugs doesn’t necessarily lead to disaster, and it does free up resources for more effective responses to drug-related problems,” Stevens told Mic.

    The road ahead: As Portugal faces a precarious financial situation, there are risks that the country could divest from its health services that are so vital in keeping the addicted community as healthy as possible and more likely to re-enter sobriety.

    That would be a shame for a country that has illustrated so effectively that treating drug addiction as a moral problem — rather than a health problem — is a dead end.

    In a 2011 New Yorker article discussing how Portugal has fared since decriminalizing, the author spoke with a doctor who discussed the vans that patrol cities with chemical alternatives to the hard drugs that addicts are trying to wean themselves off of. The doctor reflected on the spectacle of people lining up at the van, still slaves of addiction, but defended the act: “Perhaps it is a national failing, but I prefer moderate hope and some likelihood of success to the dream of perfection and the promise of failure.”

    • Deco

      Lisbon is a safe city, to walk around in, compared to Dublin.

      In fact not just Dublin. Look at towns like Bray and Navan, which are getting extremely dangerous.

      It is not a serious societal problem. In fact it is one of the top 5 problems in this country, even accounting for state incompetence, control by the EU, and chronic financial debt levels.

      • onq

        Bray was always dangerous.

        Its a seaside town and attracts a lot of people in the summer.

        I presume when you wrote

        “It is not a serious societal problem. In fact it is one of the top 5 problems in this country, even accounting for state incompetence, control by the EU, and chronic financial debt levels.’

        You actually meant to write

        “It is NOW a serious societal problem. In fact it is one of the top 5 problems in this country, even accounting for state incompetence, control by the EU, and chronic financial debt levels.”

  15. onq

    Can you see a right wing Fine Gael-led government doing ANYTHING with creativity and insight? Most of these clowns have limited life experience and non-adult personas. They are all prima donnas like Shane Ross has outed himself as and they all have two jobs

    1 Get elected

    2 Stay Elected

    If the worthies down in Ballydehob (admittedly a much maligned neck of the woods) are unlikely to support it from their blinker-eyed squinting windows, Fine Gael simply will not do it.

    I’d LOVE to be proven wrong.

  16. Deco

    Proposal : Every local authority is given the right to designate one area for marajuana consumption. One block, or street or village.

    In that area, adults only will be permitted. And they are allowed to consume marajuana. No marajuana outside the area. But complete freedom to buy it, sell it, exchange it, smoke it, eat it, whatever.

    And thereby the drug addicts become law abiding. The drugs supply in the rest of the loca authority area declines. And eventually people move off other drugs.

    Marajuan is an extremely dangerous substance. But cocaine (which is everywhere), heroin (which is very widespread), and crytstal meth (which is now everywhere along the east coast) are doing much more harm to society as a whole because they are making addicts violent and aggressive.

    In other words, we are going to have to get pragmatic. Of course the mroe conservative counties will ignore the right. And the more liberal ones will exercise the right, and set up approved zones. And soon it should becomed apparent what prohibition does to the crime rate.

    This is not about making consumption acceptable everywhere. It is about evaluating how ending prohibition can reduce the crime rate, in the Irish circumstance over a period of years.

    Cocaine and other hard drugs will continue to be illegal. The addicts can move to marajuana, and blow them to a state of being sedate, as often as they like. They will be less likely to assault people, or to intrude on people’s homes.

    One conclusion is 100% apparent. And undeniable.

    The current approach is making everything worse.

    • onq

      Deco,

      You appear to have a healthy wariness where drugs are concerned. That is excellent.

      You also appear to know nothing about marijuana. That is less good.

      Seeking to confine the debate to Marijuana, one of the least addicting, least dangerous drugs is utterly counterproductive and it will achieve nothing.

      Perhaps this is your agenda.

      Which itself says nothing of the health-giving properties of marijuana and cannabis oil, now well publicized in even the Lamestream Press.

  17. McCawber

    Human nature is the problem.
    It’s all about a lack of discipline, lack of responsibility, poor parenting, laziness and greed.
    ie a breakdown in social order.
    It’s getting worse.
    Not only do some not want water charges, they don’t want metering even.
    There is an old adage – if you can’t measure it you can control it.
    I would suggest some thought to actually measuring the drug problem and giving truthful figures might be a good place to start.
    There are lies, damned lies ANd taje your pick.
    Statistics, Government information and/ir Methadone.

  18. coldblow

    ‘The majority of prisoners in Ireland are there because of drug-related crimes.’

    This might be five or six years out of date but:

    total in custody 4,440
    drug offences 852

    http://www.justice.ie/en/JELR/Irish_Prison_Service_2010_Annual_Report.pdf/Files/Irish_Prison_Service_2010_Annual_Report.pdf

    I strongly suspect that it has to be a very serious drug offence to get you a prison sentence. Gardaí might go for a drug charge if they can’t find evidence for what they really want to catch you for. I also suspect that criminals have a higher than average consumption of drugs.

    There has never been a war on drugs, only a pretend one. From anecdotal evidence it would appear to be socially respectable now, at least in younger age groups.

    I mentioned before the strong link between cannabis use and vicious crimes, including many if not most recent high-profile terrorist attacks.

    Earlier today I happened to be reading Bob Woofinden on miscarriages of justice. He suspects the one man lingering in prison for the Meredith Kercher murder in Italy a few years ago, Rudy Guede I think, from the Ivory Coast, is innocent. On a hunch I did a quick search to see if the two other suspects who were released (Amanda Knox and her Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito) used cannabis. It is reported that they were very fond of the drug. What a surprise.

  19. coldblow

    To support my claim that the war on drugs is phoney and that the problem is that authority and the media are indulgent towards drugs, note that a determined campaign to demonize drink drivers (you can be criminalized if you have more than a pint) and smokers was successful yet no similar campaign was waged against drugs. The advice here is not to stigmatize it but to encourage it.

  20. DLMcNiff

    David you forgot to mention choice two. Yes Legalization I agree to certain extent would ruin an illicit market but it would perhaps send the wrong message to our citizens the hard drugs are ok, There not. What next “SUPER-HIGH CRACK ME” Brand.com competing for Jersey Logo space on Shamrock rovers kit . PROPOSITION 215 in California has legalized pot under medical prescription, but there are now more people selling weed on the streets than ever because pot shops do not stipulate how much one can buy and no control on prescription limits allows the so called Patients to grow up to 6 plants at home too. Choice two you forgot to mention, but maybe you think it’s too barbaric , is The Misuse of Drugs Act in Singapore. Over 3 grams of cocaine = the Death penalty . Less than 3 grams = 20 years in sing sing and a good lash of whip on the backside & subtaintail fines. When you see your drug associates who work for peanuts being hung every saturday in Mount Joy Square , it might act as a deterrent not to dabble no ? . Though I feel there is no going back now as the system feeds off this highly profitable industry and the Feds and states with in the US now making more money than the dealers policing and incarnating the offenders. Your average cop in SF works 20 years and goes out on 90 % of their salary of $140K per year, these guys are not like our Garda Recruits starting a gross of E23K per year , Prison gards California are all on over 100K per year and 90 % pension. They love crime in America because the judicial system is addicted to the Billions it get prosecuting the out of control drug land I live in . If you do a little research there is plenty of credible evidence /commentary to suggest Singapore is winning the war on drugs and deterring their citizens from becoming junkies unlike our medical / therapy, treatment and Judicial factories
    the reap billions from those caught up in the system the certainly have no problems like we do no have in Dublin with Cartels working the beat in Singapore . In the US if the DEA was a public company it would have shut down 30 years for failing so badly. Same is true for Ireland’s war on drugs. Even in the late 80′s and early 90′ there was little or no hard drugs in small towns in Ireland you can’t say that now. Methadone centers are another cynical attempt to get addicts to get clean. In fact Methadone clinics are purely for replacing an addict from opiates to synthetics which are controlled by the state. All the happens to the addict is the ownership and control of their life is moved from Drug lord to government quango ownership and all the agency that provide services to the addicted . In San Francisco the methadone clinics are privately run and the owners run them like you mention, like hamburger franchises, with many branches throughout the city & state . The owners have no interest to get the “Patients Clients, customers” call them what you want , Clean and sober , ask any addict they will tell Methdone is harder to go clean on than Opiates. Many refer to to Methadone as “Liquid hand cuffs” Legally when they go on the program they are legally considered clean and sober and only then do they start to get help from the city into housing programs where 80 % + of their monthly disability check is taken by the housing authority and most are left with $10 a day to survive on most go get dosed up at 5 AM in the inner city clinics and go around town begging for the day it reminds of Lobotomy victims accept with the dose it’s a daily affair . If they go back on the H and stop taking their methadone they stand a good chance of being put out on the street again. All the agencies come under the so called non profit banner with CEO’s on $500K + Salaries.

    Drugs and crime do pay for everyone accept the addict , the addict just gets maneuvered into some agency that who they work for, they make money of their souls forever, in a system that very very few graduate from a system that returns very few addicts to 100% drug free life. If we go the way of Singapore by chance Irish doctors & the Pharmacy industry need to be held under the microscope too, they do have become a big part of the drug addiction problem in Ireland the only difference it’s science based and legal but there still apart of the vicious cycle of addition writing scribes at will , the mere fact you can go numerous amounts of doctors and get multiple prescriptions pills Benzo’s etc which are highly addictive and if you ask me they are major contributing factor to the increases in suicide in the country. exasperating chemical highs and lows in the human mind. Antidepressants are very last resort but no so.
    Irish doctors GP’s & Psychiatrista and pharmacy that fill prescriptions need to come under major regulation & scrutiny . If one doctor in Castlebar prescribes Benzo’s to it’s patient then that information should show up in every Pharmacy database in the country they should be no way same patient can present in Courtown to another doctor and get the same Scribe filled the next day the huge need for national data base to prevent this happening and why their is not is shocking . If the RX scribe says take 1 tab a day then this patents no matter where they go can only get a refill every 30 days. Irish doctors are not looking for alternative methods of treatment they’ve become accustomed to writing a script at will , it’s is an easy fix for the patient , who will incidentally never go away because the treatment is highly addict, then anyone taking such medicine is a dependent drug addict just like the opiate addict the only difference is your legally a legitment addict . But that’s the idea . Everyone wants repeat business, not solution so you won’t return for five year , starting a patient on anti depressant is a sure way of turning that person in to full time drug addict for life and doctors need to consider what they’ve done to our society since we started necking pills since the 1950′s when antidepressants first came on the scene . Were all guilty together as society but would are attitudes change and are addiction problems lesson if we brought in The Misuse of Drugs Act of Singapore to Ireland or America . Yea sure? yes I hear you roar “but drink/ prohibition does not work” but they did not hang lads for boozing they just jailed them and put them in some quango program / jail to recovery and gave them bibles to read
    and that worked too right ?

  21. cooldude

    Excellent article David. Your logic, despite the many doubters , makes both financial and moral sense. Drug addiction should be looked at purely from a medical perspective and not from a legal one. Education is needed on the very real horrors of serious drug addiction and that should addressed by the education system with films and visits from former addicts graphically describing the horrors of such addiction. After that there has to be freedom of choice with medical assistance for those stupid enough to go down that route.

    A big problem with your very literate argument from a philosophical perspective is that many people abhor freedom of choice in life on practically every level. Personal responsibility is shunned and the state needs to control every aspect of life. I actually think you are 100% right and not just financially.

  22. Pat Flannery

    For those of you interested in the Euro, which seems to be all of you, this lecture is worth your time: http://bit.ly/1TJ2nCJ

  23. Truthist

    Informing the public of the real Truth why any particular country has a drug problem would be a major advance on solving the problem ;
    incl.
    outlining to the addicts exactly who the rich & powerful persons of prestigeous families who are all along profiteering from the drug problem.
    The ultimate solution would be for the players to become true committed Christians or Muslims or Buddhists.
    Christianity is the religion that clearly challenged the Banksters ( Christ whipped them & cursed them at the temple ), & has highest success at reforming addicts.

  24. Totally off subject but a looming subject of tremendous importance.
    The future of Europe. The Brexit and the ramifications to the British and Britain’s trading partners has been mentioned before.

    Here is a must view hour long documentary that outlines the problems within the anti democratic state of Europe and the advantage of a Brexit by a sovereign independent democratic country. Compare with the success of the bottom up democracy of Switzerland and the top down bureaucracy of Europe.

    Your health and prosperity depend on the results of this referendum.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTMxfAkxfQ0

  25. Substitute Europe for the U.S. or most other countries.

    “We cannot expect the Americans to jump from capitalism to communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving Americans small doses of socialism until they suddenly awake to find they have communism.” … Nikita Khrushchev

    • McCawber

      Khrushchev presumably played chess.
      Get a nation hooked on the socialist free lunch and time will look after the rest.
      Drugs come in many guises.

  26. SMOKEY

    David has this one wrong. The tossed Salad man is your only answer here. I would take the junkies and put them in a junkie prison with the leaders, you can get the leaders with international warrants if you wanted to but there is no political will or leadership to do this, anyway put them in together and deprive them of the basics, no phones, no internet, no good meals, real throwback iron cots and no pillows kind of stuff. No pussy coming in for a fuck, just old fashoined ass pounding by the biggest and strongest prisoners on the weaker ones, turn them into the animals that they are and contract it out to the toughest prison screws in the world, probably the Polish or Russians and when the word got out that this was a hell hole once you were caught it would stem the tide of drugs into this country. See Tossed Salad Man below. Vote Trump
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXrb8jurCs8

    • Truthist

      How would ur International Arrest Warrants succeed if the Kingpins escape to Tel Avi, Israel or Brasil ;
      2 notorious jurisdictions for the International Narcotics Kingpins to be immune from extradition ;
      Or would u propose that we do a kidnapping of such Narcotics Kingpins from Israel as was done to a decent noble man non-criminal Mordechai Vananu ?

      • Truthist

        Mordechai Vananu was kidnapped lured by a “Raven” M…sad Blonde woman to Rome ;
        Whence he was bundled into a box & kidnapped t9 Israel & summnarily imprisoned in sollitary confinement.

  27. survivalist

    Apologies for the length of this post

    This article is similar to one from April 19, 2016: “War on drugs is fuelled by junk economics”, while the arguments for and against legalising drugs have not changes within these 5/6 weeks the questions raised are always relevant especially with respect to recent tragic events.

    Rather than repeating the pro/con rationales I will say that the article does raise other related and very interesting questions, which were unfortunately not addressed, and will never see the light of day in the mainstream media.

    One of these questions is; who exactly is it that benefits of the protection of state dictated and state enforced laws?

    For my own part, I believe that the laws which are there and are enforced are, generally speaking, employed as a means to protect the ‘deviant’ from the community.

    Bear in mind that ‘the deviant’ can be an individual, group and the State itself and its institutions. Increasingly it is the Corp/State which is deviant.

    I welcome any feedback from people who had first-hand experience of the events I mention below. This post can only begin to touch on the scale of the issue at hand and I apologise if it is overly long for the present format.

    Briefly; when in 1996 Mrs V Guerin was murdered by the then ‘drug lords’ what followed was a ‘national’ outcry, and the murder was presented by the media as precipitating the attention of the government/State and its resources to address the drug crisis that was ravaging parts of the city of Dublin. With reported notable success too, of course.

    Various state security bodies were established as a result of the ensuing State/Gov. reaction institutions like the Criminal Assets Bureau, Witness Protection Programme etc. were then turned against the ‘drug lords’ in the State’s righteous war on the drug lords.

    What was astutely avoided by the media then and now, however, was the outstanding work of the local communities that had, as the result of a genuinely grassroots organisation led to the formation of groups like; concerned parents against drugs.

    In my opinion it was these groups, more than any State efforts, which had the most powerfully helpful and restorative effect on the affected communities.

    In fact the state did more to undermine these community groups than it did to tackle the drug lords.

    And in my opinion these groups created a powerful template of the manner by which communities can in a short period of time advance to a level of self-governance that makes a mockery of the concept of centralised Government and the associated State and its supposed necessary apparatchik.

    The fact, not well reported, that the Government resorted to using the jury less special criminal courts and anti-terrorist legislation against the communities serves to illustrate the degree to which their movement threatened to, and succeeded in undermining the State.

    These community groups had formed as many as 10 years before the Guerin murder the CAB the WPP etc. and had formed in desperation at the continual refusal of the State to help them battle the drug crisis and its many facets.

    The media were actively involved in an ongoing campaign of slander against these groups which likely to this day affects people’s opinions of the so called ‘vigilantes’, and doesn’t come close to an accurate description of the historical record of the day. I will refrain from going into the details of the media campaign against the communities.

    Finally; I had only limited personal experience of the era as I lived for only a short period of time in the north Inner city (Nth Great Georges St area) around 95/96. I and friends occasionally walked to other friends rented apartments in the Mount-Joy area I can confirm that during that brief time when the street corners were light up by the light from burning barrels, with groups of local men standing around them, armed with all manner of ‘tools’ represents to this day the era in which it seemed to me at least, the safest of times to walk through north inner city Dublin.

    But now there are laws to prevent such actions and such community initiatives. I will end here though much more could be written on this era, the State and its war on community self determination. There’s a very easy way to destroy murderous drugs gangs for good support the communities to assert their own rule and stop protecting the deviants, brothers in arms no doubt.

  28. Truthist

    Bulk of Provo IRA of that era would be very sincerely against Narcotics Culture ;
    Although some would resort to consuming some maruajana to cope with stress of combat with SAS psychopaths & their fellow-travelers in the whole security / offensive apparatus in the North East of our country & also in the so-called independent part of it, & also in their campaign yonder in the British Isles, & even more yonder on the continent of Europe.
    They were assisting some of the drug-infested communities of Dublin then despite much hostility from the Media of The Institutional State of the Irish State [ ISIS ].
    A notable exception from ISIS was Charles J Haughey [ Taoiseach ].
    However, Sir Garret Fitzgerald & “Dimples” Michael O’Leary [ Tanaiste & Leader of Labour Party in Coalition with Blue Shirts / Fine Gael ] & the Senior Civil Service did their utmost & they motivated by spite to overturn the rescue package for those communities secured by the great Tony Gregory T.D. & now sadly RIP from Haughey.
    Cannot foresee Me-Hole Martin ever being near as good as Haughey ;
    And, this said knowing that Haughey had his faults.

    • McCawber

      What, no pen picture of “anorak man”"?
      Or maybe you are anorak man?

      • Truthist

        I greatly hampered by software & hardware issues lately ;
        Thus, please excuse curtailed reply.
        I presume u mean “Anorak-Man” himself ;

        Father of 1 Million Punts pre-paid by Media Baron “Rupert Murdoch” to Daughter of “I won it at the Races” Bertie Ahern.

        Anyway, I not endorsing Haughey to have been Taoiseach ;
        He was much better than was slurred AND worse than was known.

        Apologies also for the conundrum

  29. Truthist

    Of course it has always been “The War FOR Drugs” by the Elite to keep down the useless Eaters.

    And, the Garda-Landlord Peelers are their Interface to “guard” / protect the Elite from the dastardly lower classes, 8 thus keep the Peace / “Piece of Cake” as intended for the Elite.

    And so, as if by serendipity, we are blessed to have for our unmissable attention the very recent Article from the one & only Chris Spivey of chrisspivey.org about the Peelers ;
    Actually, the bulk of this short enough article is written by a customarily featured author on Chris Spivey’s website ; Mr. John Hamer

    http://chrisspivey.org/john-hamers-the-police/

  30. “Or, in my humble opinion, they could just make the shit legal in all of the countries that cocaine touches, which would eradicate most of the problems.”

    http://www.thedailybell.com/editorials/eyes-wide-open-an-adventure-capitalists-views-on-colombia/

  31. mcsean2163

    Gets my vote!

  32. Truthist

    Cocaine, Crack Cocaine, LSD, inter alia are widely known to equip users ( Pre-conditional on personal body chemistry ) with super strength & lessened inhibitions & lessened judgement ;
    If the drugs were legalised ;
    ==> “Oxymoron” to find the badly behaved user “illegal” / guilty of crime.
    Good thought provoking article ;
    But, drugs taking & dealing etc should not be legalised.

  33. locoloco

    David, This is logical but simplistic. These are guys on the make, not proponents of drug culture. The want easy pickings from the weak of the world.
    If/when you distroy the drugs market, they will turn to some other form of crime.

  34. erinblue

    It appears that in the same week that the Garda Commissioner is under serious pressure to answer questions publicly that they have come up with a new distraction. They are going to do you if you have over €1000 cash in the house. If ever you wanted to increase street based drug violence then I believe the Irish Justice Minister has come up with the very blueprint which will tell you exactly how to go about it.

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