Associated Press: “Study Links Drug Enforcement to More Violence”

Just in case this recent CNN headline — “Government: More than 22,000 dead in Mexico drug war” — didn’t make this point crystal clear, we now have a scientific study published by the good folks at International Centre for Science in Drug Policy to drive home the painfully obvious.

Study links drug enforcement to more violence
via The Associated Press

The surge of gunbattles, beheadings and kidnappings that has accompanied Mexico’s war on drug cartels is an entirely predictable escalation in violence based on decades of scientific literature, a new study contends.

A systematic review published Tuesday of more than 300 international studies dating back 20 years found that when police crack down on drug users and dealers, the result is almost always an increase in violence, say researchers at the International Centre for Science in Drug Policy, a nonprofit group based in Britain and Canada.

In 87 percent of the studies reviewed, intensifying drug law enforcement resulted in increased rates of drug market violence. Some of the studies included in the report said violence increases because power vacuums are created when police kill or arrest top drug traffickers. None showed a significant decrease in violence.

Predictably, Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske — like all prohibitionists — would rather stick his head in the sand than acknowledge the obvious.

When asked whether he believes that legalizing and regulating marijuana — the crop that, according to his own office, provides Mexican drug lords with over 60% of their present profits — would in any way stave this ongoing violence, he responded: “I don’t know of any reason that legalizing something that essentially is bad for you would make it better, from a fiscal standpoint or a public health standpoint or a public safety standpoint.”

Really? So does the Drug Czar favor outlawing alcohol, tobacco, red meat, trans-fats, soda, corn syrup, junk food, caffeine, sugar, and any one of thousands of other products and activities that are “essentially bad for you” too?

And what about those 20,000+ dead since 2006 — many as a direct result of the United State’s prohibitionists policies? The Drug Czar doesn’t believe that staving such violence isn’t benefiting the public’s health? (Answer: You can’t make someone understand when it is in their job description not to.)

Sickeningly, ex-Drug Czar John Walters does Gil K. even one better — reiterating the notion (previously expressed by pending DEA head Michelle Leonheart) that the soaring violence and death south of the border is a sign that U.S. marijuana prohibition is working!

According to the AP: “The former drug czar, John Walters, said the researchers gravely misinterpret drug violence. He said spikes of attacks and killings after law enforcement crackdowns are almost entirely between criminals, and therefore may, in a horrible, paradoxical way, reflect success. ‘They’re shooting each other, and the reason they’re doing that is because they’re getting weaker,’ he said.”

Yes, you read that right. In John Walters’ deluded mind, murder victims Lesley Enriquez, — who worked at the U.S. Consulate and was four months pregnant — and her husband must have been ‘criminals,’ and the rising death toll on the U.S./Mexico border is obviously a human billboard of our success!

It’s now apparent that only a fool — or someone who is paid to act like one — would fail to see that it is time to remove the production and distribution of marijuana out of the hands of violent criminal enterprises and into the hands of licensed businesses. Of course, the only way to do that is through legalization — yet this is a policy that, tragically, remains devoid from the Drug Czar’s, and the President’s, vocabulary.

56 thoughts

  1. The buzzards are picking the meat off the Hoarse and they stand there beating it in hopes it will get up again! The people that think Prohibition is working must have an IQ in the Negative Range, I have seen trained Monkeys with better sense than they have.

  2. How many people have to drown in the blood of their loves ones before we become fed up with these monsters?

    Our leaders (read:sociopaths) give me the impression that they would stomp an infant to death for a nickel. It’s time to take the children out of their jaws.

  3. I cant believe that michelle said that
    I cant belive hercockski said that
    I cant believe this is a “good thing”
    I cant believe we are “succeeding by death”
    I cant believe that I cant believe our gov’s answers
    I cant believe Marijuana is important enough for death
    I cant believe cnn is actually posting it’s a failure
    I cant believe a scientific team is not to believe
    I cant believe legalization isny in obama’s vocab
    I cant believe 20,000 dead since 2006
    I cant believe America’s government would rather have death

  4. That video footage seemed so old. But then I’m an early adopter…being TheOracle with Shiva’s Eye, the Eye of Dangma. See now. The mere fact that the Mexicans still have enough money to sustain a long-term paramilitary campaign against Mexican government forces shows that the DEA et al. have not succeeded in decreasing their profits despite whatever confiscations made. Losses from confiscations must be reckoned in. The longer the cartels sustain themselves against the government forces the worse it will become. How so? Having found the equilibrium against government forces, the profit motive will still cause them to look to make more money from more markets, to want to extend their networks and increase sales volume. Silver or Lead? The corruption will continue. If the Mexican government has such a terrible time with the cartel forces, it is hoped they will ask the U.S. to send in its military forces, hoping for an invitation. Once there and things are cleaned up, it won’t be easy to get them to leave. Everyone knows that. Look at everywhere in the world we have ever had troops stationed. There are maybe France, Vietnam and Somalia as exceptions, but on the Mexican border there is U.S. money of concern.

    The Obama Administration simply has to make a stand on policy about not resisting efforts to legalize, definitely to have the DEA change its policy to make cannabis delicts the lowest priority on which no federal money can be spent on it. Once the power merchants see the problems decreasing and are dipping their hands above the radar in the profits things should progress faster.

    What happens in D.C. with medical marijuana being allowed and not raided, nor suppliers raided, is progress.

  5. they should legalize it already…wtf??? gateway drug??? hahaha so is alcohol, but every1 knows thts not going 2 be criminalized anytime soon..and just as laws against marijuana stir up more violence; so would laws banning alcohol, but on a far greater scale. and alcohol in most cases leads 2 violence…does pot??? nooo…all the stoners are happy…and even the angry ppl tht smoke are 2 stoned 2 care about violence…pot is good!! I think it should be legalized for people 21 and over across the country, like alcohol only safer…how many ppl crash their vehicles on pot alone???….vs. alcohol??? haahhaa…just shows u how stupid our government really is…

  6. Well sure! That’s exactly how the cops want it too. It’s good for business. Blood in the streets = employment. Let’s face it, nobody involved in law enforcement sincerely wants to live in a peaceful world. I think they’ll do anything in their power to make sure that pot stays illegal and violence continues to spread.

  7. Cannabis is not essentially bad for you. It is essentially good for you. Cannabis is medicine, it is food, it is nutritious, it is benign, it is beneficial.

  8. If we look at the extremely wealthy individuals driving prohibition, the problem is pretty obvious. This is no longer a world where reason exists. This is a world where the man with the bigger wallet gets his way. If the man with the bigger wallet wants marijuana to remain illegal, it will remain illegal PERIOD. The staggering loss of human life and individual freedoms mean nothing to these wealthy men. The drug dealers don’t care, and the politicians obviously don’t care- Or look at the violence as a “good thing” (which is sick.) Al illegal drugs that are confiscated are handed over to the various intelligence agencies and delivered back out onto the streets. It’s a never ending source of income to the government. They are not going to give that up easily! If marijuana is ever to be legal and regulated, we must first replace this greed driving system with COMPASSION. There is no other way.

  9. I find it odd that every time one of these drones mentions something against the legalization of marijuana; they fail to also push for the prohibition of other substances such as tobacco or alcohol. I mean if they truly believed the crap they were saying and prohibition were such the success for cannabis; so too would the same policies of prohibition and incarceration work equally as well to rid America of the Deadly scourges of Tobacco and Alcohol.And if they don’t believe illegalization will work with tobacco and alcohol;how does it work with cannabis: which is no different. Is anyone debating the fact that cigarettes kill? No. Is anyone using tobacco to alleviate the symptoms of painful and life-threatening ailments? No. No one is going to stand up for tobacco, tell you it’s good for them, or enhances their lives. Why is that the legal plant when it actually kills you and the illegal one helps some people? I leave that one for the prohibitionists to answer.

  10. I’m glad NORML has finally understood the violence here in Arizona/Mexico as being Marijuana Law connected. It was only a matter of time. The recent immigration law signed by our Govenor is representative of the publics “boiling point” being reached with this whole issue. Thank you

  11. There are certain hard scientific facts that would support the Legalization, but the “orthodox” addiction medicine establishment, being anything but independent from tight DEA control, is not nearly as forthcoming with this information as it should be for scientific integrity. As opposed to alcohol and most controlled prescription drugs, marijuana use has not been associated with one single case of fatal overdose, marijuana does not have a documented physical withdrawal, and its addiction liability is only 3% compared with 10% for alcohol and around 20% for opiates, both legal (morphine) and illegal (heroin). Cannabis use has been shown to reduce the violent crime (Substance Abuse: A Comprehensive Textbook, 4-th Edition, page 267). After working for years with seriously drug-addicted patients in Philadelphia, PA, I understand the scientific fallacy of classifying cannabis in the same group with heroin and cocaine. The so-called “gateway drug” theory is by now completely discredited, but this scientific fact is not widely advertised or known. At the same time, the medicinal properties of marijuana plant are by now so clearly beyond dispute, that even the “opponents” are no longer fully comfortable in repeating the old nonsense that the plant has “no medical benefits”. Between 74 and 81% of Americans support legalization of marijuana for at least medical use. I know that whatever decision people make in the end (and I hope it will be to legalize this natural medicinal plant), they should make it with all the facts at their disposal.
    Perhaps the whole situation regarding the legalization of marijuana can be summarized by quoting a true expert whose dedication to scientific truth is stronger than any disinformation the “opponents” can possibly offer:

    “Cannabis will one day be seen as a wonder drug, as was penicillin in the 1940s. Like penicillin, herbal marijuana is remarkably nontoxic, has a wide range of therapeutic applications and would be quite inexpensive if it were legal”. Dr. Lester Grinspoon, professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, Los Angeles Times, May 5, 2006

  12. You can’t spell death without DEA. Once again prohibition of cannabis kills more people than the harmless substance itself. Note also they don’t specifically mention cannabis when refering to “dangerous substances” when backing up their success by death-toll stance. I’m sure they think it’s OK since those second class people being killed is a win-win for DEA/Border Patrol since there will be 22000 less people trying to jump our fences. Hope they sleep well with their big fat, blood money, paychecks (our taxes).

  13. It’s all about power and control and bloodlust. They are like the grave that never says enough.

  14. Our country has been taken over by criminals. It dont matter that they wear white collars and ties, they are criminal no less than Al Capone was. They are raping our country for everything they can while they can. the fact that you can put the truth in their face and they dismiss it says it all. Only criminals would refuse to do what is right in the blinding face of the truth. Those in government that are not criminal are just as guilty if they stand by and do nothing to help WE THE PEOPLE reclaim what is ours…our country and our government. You wouldnt let thieves walk into your house and steal your things, that your life…why would we sit by and let this happen to our house…our country? People …get off your asses and..get angery…get your protest signs out, march with them, put them in your yards, put them on your cars….dont just sit there! Talk to your neighbors! You dont have to join a tea party or a coffee party , how bout being the tough INDIVIDUALS we Americans are? BE YOUR OWN PARTY !

  15. This is starting to make me sick, and i get soo frustrated when I read stories like this. I don’t get mad at NORML because I can’t wait for the day that marijuana becomes legal. I get mad with the incompetant people in D.C. that can’t seem to understand any of the info that the great people at NORML (etc) put in front of them. Keep up the good work, one day we will have our victory.

  16. The conversations on the main stream media are beginning to resemble normal civil discourse. The tide is turning.

  17. Let`s never forget what happens when drunks don`t get their drug. Next time you walk through the liquor section at the supermarket remember this.

    The number of police officer deaths roughly tripled from 1900 to 1920, from 40 to 150. Prohibition began in January 1920 — and with it came an organized network of crime to distribute alcohol illegally to the thirsty population. The rise of organized crime proved deadly for police. There were over 1,800 officers killed in the 1920s, the most of any decade in this century!! In 1929, more than 200 police officers were killed for the first time. A year later, 244 officers were killed. This remains as the largest number of deaths of police officers in a single year. By 1933, the year Prohibition was repealed, the number of police officer deaths began to decline.

    Read more: Law Enforcement – The Deaths Of Police Officers http://social.jrank.org/pages/1331/Law-Enforcement-Deaths-Police-Officers.html#ixzz0ma1SFaUs

    This was during a very short 13 year period. It proves that alcohol is the most dangerous drug on earth. It also proves that after 70 years of marijuana prohibition the number of marijuana-only related cop killings almost does not exist in comparison to the killings during the 1920`s. Imagine the bloodshed if alcohol were in the same boat as marijuana for 70 years. Imagine the over-crowded prisons and all the dead police. I see these Mexican drug lords as no different than alcohol companies, Pharma, tobacco, junk food, oh wait, the FDA which decides what we can put in our mouth. Which makes them look like the worst drug cartel I`ve ever seen.

    It`s time the world is shown that the alcohol industry, and the FDA is the worst terrorists on earth. Make your choice idiots in Washington! Legalize 100% marijuana, or destroy all liquid-drug dealing factories.

  18. Let`s never forget what happens when drunks don`t get their drug. Next time you walk through the liquor section at the supermarket remember this.

    The number of police officer deaths roughly tripled from 1900 to 1920, from 40 to 150. Prohibition began in January 1920 — and with it came an organized network of crime to distribute alcohol illegally to the thirsty population. The rise of organized crime proved deadly for police. There were over 1,800 officers killed in the 1920s, the most of any decade in this century!! In 1929, more than 200 police officers were killed for the first time. A year later, 244 officers were killed. This remains as the largest number of deaths of police officers in a single year. By 1933, the year Prohibition was repealed, the number of police officer deaths began to decline.

    Read more: Law Enforcement – The Deaths Of Police Officers http://social.jrank.org/pages/1331/Law-Enforcement-Deaths-Police-Officers.html#ixzz0ma1SFaUs

    This was during a very short 13 year period. It proves that alcohol is the most dangerous drug on earth. It also proves that after 70 years of marijuana prohibition the number of marijuana-only related cop killings almost does not exist in comparison to the killings during the 1920`s. Imagine the bloodshed if alcohol were in the same boat as marijuana for 70 years. Imagine the over-crowded prisons and all the dead police. I see these Mexican drug lords as no different than alcohol companies, Pharma, tobacco, junk food, oh wait, the FDA which decides what we can put in our mouth. Which makes them look like the worst drug cartel I`ve ever seen.

    It`s time the world is shown that the alcohol industry, and the FDA is the worst terrorists on earth. Make your choice idiots in Washington! Legalize 100% marijuana, or destroy all liquid-drug dealing factories.

  19. This Drug war and all our middle eastern wars are related. Ronald Reagan totalitarian police state neo-fascist is embraced by 40 million americans. We outnumber them and that’s why Obama was elected. Now, we need to terminate america’s love for endless pointless wars and accept peace. Easily said, hard to do. Through extreme intellect and compassion we need to derail: the lock and load drill baby drill fire in the hole republicans.

  20. Does any one ever get the feeling this is hell, or at least hell on earth? If we can get rid of those who wish to serve in hell the rest of us could make heaven on earth and all serve in heaven. Ya I know how that statement sounds but really, why else would people in”leadership” postions take the blinding truth and twist it so? Just to suit there agendas, just to keep them selves as kings. Truth can stand on its own, error and lies need proping up. these laws are a self perpetuating hell, no ones a winner and is never ending self feeding system, its insanity.

  21. All that killin’ means it going to be a better day, all those lives ruined means the future will be bright,all that spent money means it is a safer world.

    “Through clever and constant application of propaganda, people can be made to see paradise as hell, and also the other way around, to consider the most wretched sort of life as paradise.”
    From Benito Mussolini
    “London Sunday Express,” December 8, 1935

    Seems clear to me, its hell and its not getting better……Hello? your with the rose colored glasses…they arent helping you, its stilll ugly out here.

  22. The idea that these corrections to state laws have to be voted in, although the only viable route, is still ridiculous.

    If the US was to allow voters to outlaw use of cigarettes, it would be outlawed! But that won’t happen for a ton of reasons. The most rational reason I can think of is.. why should a majority dominate a minority’s lifestyle choice because they don’t agree with it. Even though it is one of the most detrimental substances and perfectly legal, it remains so because individuals have the freedom to choose whether they want to smoke tobacco or not.

    As the public becomes increasingly aware of the bs that the government cooks and serves, the percentage of individuals with a rational perception of actual reality becomes the majority and triumphantly overshadows the minority who demonize cannabis, regardless if he/she does smoke.

    C’mon CALI !

  23. the u.s. goverment can’t see the trees through the forest. why make something legal, when you can raise the taxes on the poor. hopeful they’ll the goverment will pull there head out of the sand that been there since the rockafoller law was made law make pot illegal. it makes no sense,let the people decide. if enough people vote the people that are holding the legalization OUT.

  24. Personally…and…I would hope that every single person in the world would take it personal…because it is personal; who in the hell is running this prohibition. There’s got to be a “Mr. Big.” Well! There’s some tar, feathers, and a rail running out of town waiting for you Mr. Big. They have your name on them Mr. Big and you can take your “little stooges” with you.

  25. I don’t get why the “Judge” isn’t backing legalization? He doesn’t seem to care about the “other” legal substances that are taxed and regulated. I guess that’s his LP streak coming out.

  26. It’s because black market profits control elections: http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ciadrugs/dontblink.html Drug kingpins launder their money by donating it to political campaigns promising to continue the ‘war on (some) drugs.’ If drugs were legal/regulated all these billionaire kingpins would be out of jobs; they constantly contribute their profits to keep themselves in business. (They’re already living lavishly beyond anyone’s imagination, and $600B in cold hard cash is no good to them, they undercut banks by loaning at cheaper rates.)

  27. I seriously am feeling change in the air. Like we’re going through a shift as a whole in society. In November, Americans in California will be able to speak on behalf of us marijuana supporters. If they choose to tax and control cannabis we will be heading down a new road and not looking back! Today, we look back at slavery with absolute disgust and disapproval. While it does still exist today, it’s well known as a human rights issue. The same can be said for marijuana. It really is only a matter of time before we do legalize it. And when we do, and society starts to understand marijuana it will be amazing to see people become more truthful and better to themselves. You see, marijuana actually makes you act safer; and opens your mind/thought process; and allows you to look at the “big picture”. Where as with alcohol it causes your mood to be very aggressive and closed-minded. Alcohol makes your rationales of things very illogical. And I could go on. So when society quits being so hypocritical and see the truth we will be in a better place. And this isn’t a pipe-dream; it’s reality, right now!

  28. “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”

    – Upton Sinclair

    This also explains why the DEA posts such garbage as their “ten reasons not to legalize drugs,” which reasons were thoroughly debunked by Radical Russ.

  29. I have been seeing the parallels between pot prohibition and alcohol prohibition for YEARS, and this just confirms another one for me, tell me that the gang violence of al capone and people like him doesnt sound exactly like the violence with pot in mexico? is it the US governments fault? in my opinion…yes it is, once alcohol was made legal the black market dried up…do i think it would be the same for pot…YES a million times over!

  30. It”s ok for the Federeal Government to stick their hands in the cookie jar (OUR TAX DOLLARS) for THE DRUG WAR and create a fantasyland of false security and open season year round on people who use marijuana. THE BERLIN WALL of MARIJUANA PROHIBITION, the WALL that goes beyond our borders and then some. The FEDERAL OVERLORDS and the 21ST CENTURY INQUISITORS the DEA (DEAD END ATROCITIES) fighting a battle that is already lost and the only thing that have to show are UNICORNS. The victims of MARIJUANA PROHIBITION have risen year by year and the end of the tunnel is still dark in parts of America that have no marijuana legislation in their states. Make marijuana legal and create the REAL GREEN JOBS instead of UNICORNS. THE GREED OF OUR TAX DOLLARS BY THE FEDS TRYING TO ENFORCE MARIJUANA LAWS THAT ARE UNJUST AND TOTALITARIAN.

  31. #12…M Sabatian,
    It is funny that you said that they should mention the actual prohibition being brought back to alcohol and then to be put on tabacco. Well, for many in my state, they are pretty much doing that, and surrounding states are doing this as well. I am talking about the laws they are putting on people for smoking in public places, such as casinos, bars, stores, resturants, etc. PUBLIC places. Well, I know hundreds of smokers, hell I used to use tabacco, and I remember thinking to myself all the time, “why cant I smoke in the zoo, its an open area, where there are no walls or ceilings.” And it used to make me upset. Interview some of those people. Have a news session on that. Then in the same segmant, talk about how LESS harmful pot smoke is and how these poeple feel compared to MJ smokers. Hell, you could do the same with other races, homosexuals, and pretty much anyone that has been held down by the man.

  32. NORML, as usual uses facts to combat U.S. drug war propaganda. And, as is pointed out in this article, the drug Czar’s job is to LIE.

    So, forget about trying to get reasoned arguments from the top propaganda cop. As an eariler commentor mentioned, dont VOTE for ANY candidate who doesn’t support legalization.

    In addition, it’s our job and responsibility to notifiy OUR members of Congress that they can’t pretend there is any reference to principles of justice contained within cannabis policy.

    SEND YOUR Congressional rep a copy of 1998’s legislation that is linked in this article. We need to be asking Congress why they support propaganda-as-policy. This 1998 legislation was an attempt to drive a stake through the medical marijuana movement.

    The fact that medical marijuana continues to expand is a good sign for outright legalization. Why? Because as a group women of a certain age are opposed to legalization although they support medical use.

    We need to let these women know that patient safety depends on legalization.

    END THE VIOLENCE. END PROHIBITION.

  33. guys, don’t forget to thumb this article up on stumbleupon. Get it out there on the internet and maybe it’ll reach people who can make a difference

  34. He says everything will be ok if it’s sold at specific locations and smoked only in the home. This might be how it starts but will not end there. You will be able to buy it at any convenient store and people will complain that if you can drink in a public place you can smoke marijuana in a public place. If you smoke pot in your home and you’re alone, what about the other 80% of people that don’t live alone? You’re still effecting the people and children around you.
    I already have to deal with second hand smoke from cigarettes while living in the city. I don’t need to inhale marijuana smoke too, even if it helps the economy.

  35. #24 “Ronald Reagan totalitarian police state neo-fascist is embraced by 40 million americans. We outnumber them and that’s why Obama was elected.”

    You have GOT to be kidding me!!! The Bushies took Reagan’s totalitarian regime to the next level, and now Obama is taking it to a whole new level! Please get your head out of your ass, Obomber is NOT the answer! Wow.

    #30 The Judge IS backing legalization. Always has, always will. Where are you getting that? And the Judge is NOT part of the LP. Nice try scare mongering.

  36. the drug war against us all is vampire vile evil.

    to overthrow the police state we must oppose them every which way but violent (violence doesn’t work).

    if we STOP them here, game ova.

    we’re close.

  37. Bah!!!! So frustrating to hear anchors saying that decriminalization is the solution when they would allow use and what not yea but wouldn’t take it out of the problem. That would be a God send if it was decriminalized for the dealers….legalization is the REAL solution napolitano since it puts it in a legal market like alcohol.

  38. Making things people are naturally inclined to seek illegal only creates crime! There is no sense behind it…..

    FREE THE PLANTS.

    no plant should be illegal. God (or whatever deity you believe in) put every plant that grows on this earth here for a reason…and it wasn’t so the USA could make them illegal.

    We will rise above, we will show them that we are smarter and saner than their outrageous “war on drugs”. Marijuana will be legal in our lifetime! We will not stand for this oppression anymore!

  39. CDXX REVIVAL

    We’re gathering the flock.
    Not so difficult a task.
    We’re just gathering those
    who believe in the same thing.
    God and God’s gift of Holy Sacrament.

    As Ronald Reagan said…42 Brian,
    “If not us, who?
    If not now, when.”

    If you’re observant of your religion,
    be observant of your Faith.”

    Manford Mantis

  40. Shortly – in less time than it takes to have a baby – we will be able to fire up a bowl, like one would light a cigarette, or down a beer.

    The word has it that the big boys [$$$] are coming in, and the ancillary business is going crazy. If that sounds like wishful thinking – well! – we will wait -and – we shall see. California started the whole thing – and – California will bring it to fruititon.

  41. get out and vote the people out off office that are agaignest the legalization of pot. i know that they say what you won’t to hear and it’s all a bunch of b.s. just rember b.s walks voters talk. legalize pot.

  42. I agree with that video 100%, Decriminalize, Legalize, Tax and Regulate Marijuana is the only way to do real impact damage to the drug cartels. If Obama wants to bring change, good change that gives freedoms, instead of takes, this is one good step. If he were to get a great Marijuana bill, like he pulled the crap with the health care. He could very well be re-elected, cause legalizing Marijuana would be REAL change.

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