Mittwoch, 8. Dezember 2010

Drugs & Crime

Drug-related offences are dominated, on the one hand, by income generating non-violent property crime to support drug use, and, on the other hand, by violence associated with drug distribution. There seems to be agreement that there is a link between dependent drug use and crime but that there is no single, causal connection between drug use and crime which means that present policy is demonstrably based on un-evidenced assumptions. A devastating verdict, especially in light of Nutt's (2009) recent comment: "It is very easy to get research money to show that drugs are harmful but it’s very hard to get research funds to show that they may not be so"

So how come that, despite the lack of concrete evidence for a drug-crime link, the established approach is partly based on the argument that there is such a link? One reason is that institutions and policies once in place are difficult to change, the probably more important reason however is that drugs are essentially criminalised for moral reasons. In the words of James Q. Wilson "drug use is wrong because it is immoral and it is immoral because it enslaves the mind and destroys the soul". Or for other reasons (political, cultural etc) that do not respond well to hard factual evidence.

Hans Durrer: A link between drugs and crime?

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