The Drug War’s Profit Motive – Radley Balko

Terrific reporting here from the Capitol Report, a small publication that covers politics and policy in Minnesota.

Minnesota state Rep. Carly Melin is trying to introduce legislation to legalize medical marijuana in the state, but she’s bumping up against some aggressive opposition from the state’s police agencies and law enforcement organizations, who have united behind a group called the Minnesota Law Enforcement Coalition.

Medical marijuana Acapulco gold

It may at first seem odd that police groups would so vigorously oppose medical pot. These aren’t medical organizations. They have no clear stake in the debate over the drug’s potential therapeutic benefits. According to the article, the police groups say they’re concerned about public safety, but we’ve been living with medical pot for nearly 20 years now, and there’s no empirical data to support the contention that legal medical marijuana brings an increase in crime. If you’re a fan of public choice theory, you might argue that narcotics cops may oppose any move toward legalization because a decrease in the demand for and supply of illegal pot might mean a decrease in need for narcotics cops to police it. And of course there will always be a supply of and trade in other illicit drugs to keep them busy.

Read more via Washington Post The drug war’s profit motive.

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One thought on “The Drug War’s Profit Motive – Radley Balko

  1. muskegonlibertarian February 26, 2014 / 2:07 PM

    The law enforcement community has good economic reasons to oppose legalization of drugs. The War on Drugs means greater employment, more rapid advancement to higher rank, along with being able to seize assets (asset forfeiture) that can be either kept for personal use or sold at a profit. If there was no profit for law enforcement in fighting the “War on Drugs”, very few would be interested in doing so.


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