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Druglord'S Reign Ends

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Forbidden fruit is sweet indeed. Even if the delicacy carries slow and painful death for anyone attracted by its flavor, there'll always be plenty of those who'd want a little more. Advices, explanations, warnings, restrictions, prohibitions, punishments -- nothing can stop this insane thirst for breaking the rules.

According to the study of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in 2003, "The total number of drug abusers is estimated at some 200 million people, equivalent to 4,7% of the global population age 15 or above... compared to 4,3% last year (2002)";. In 1998 "the international illicit drug business has generated as much as $400 billion in trade according to the United Nations International Drug Control Program. That amounts to 8% of all international trade and is comparable to the annual turnover in textiles", reports At the meantime "individual drug use or possession of illegal drugs for personal consumption are not amongst the top priorities of European law-enforcement authorities".

All this statistics shows a very simple and obvious fact: you can't stop drug abuse by forbidding it. Every law that you think, makes getting drugs harder, in reality just lowers its quality and raises its price, which leads to more people being infected by HIV or Hepatitis, more bribed police, more killed in drug wars and more funds spent on drug-related law enforcement. Recent charges of 27 cops in Cancun, Mexico, with "running a drug ring or aiding in the murder of their fellow officers"; illustrate "how traffickers continued to infiltrate the area around the Caribbean resort, despite a crackdown following the 2001 arrest of the state's former governor on drug charges.", has reported on 03/01/2005.

However there is another way: decriminalization of illicit drugs can at least help to make using drugs as safe as possible and even solve some social and racial problems. To tell the truth, not all the laws against drugs have gained approval because of government's concern about the lives of common people. Desmond Manderson, author of the book "From Mr. Sin to Mr. Big" describes the development of drug laws in Australia. E.g. anti-opium laws in the XIX century were passed to discriminate Chinese from the white Australians:"Opium was seen as a pollutant, moral as well as physical; it was tainted by the environment of its consumption and by its connections with the Chinese themselves".

Nowadays racial drug-related prejudices are supported by law enforcement. According to the US federal Household Survey, "most current illicit drug users are white. There were an estimated 9.9 million whites (72% of all users), 2.0 million blacks (15%), and 1.4 million Hispanics (10%)". Though, from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, "of the 246,100 state prison inmates serving time for drug offenses in 2001, 139,700 (56.7%) were black, 47,000 (19%) were Hispanic, and 57,300 (23.2%) were white."

Decriminalization of drugs could solve racial problem in no time, as well as to improve social support for drug addicts. Without criminal responsibility for using or possessing drugs legal drug users will be separated from criminal drug dealers. Decriminalization gives control over quality of the drugs thus reducing nearly to zero risk of AIDS and drug-related crimes, as showed the experience of Netherlands. Plus, illicit drugs could become profitable element of national and international trade, like alcohol and cigarettes.

Note that "decriminalization" doesn't mean "legalization". The difference is that decriminalized drugs unlike legalized can't be sold by anyone, government strictly controls all shipments of legal drugs. Thus criminal drug dealers take hits from two sides: on the one hand, they no longer have the power of monopoly on illicit drugs, and on the other, they can still get caught.

Decriminalization of drugs also doesn't mean "approval". It is officially permitted to drink alcohol, but common



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