Here is an interesting story about our War On Drugs as related by Former Prosecutor Volney V. Brown Jr.
We decided to test the effectiveness of simultaneously arresting every drug seller on the streets of an isolated city, and picked Phoenix for the exercise.So after huge expense the best law enforcement could do was to stop drug sales for 8 days and reduce them for 30. And that is not all. After it was over law enforcement had no idea who was selling drugs. Meaning long investigations to start the process all over again.
Using more "buy money" than Arizona had ever seen before, we bought into each street dealer we could find, two or three times each. It turned out that Phoenix had 76 drug pushers. In the middle of a week night, with the help of state and local police, we arrested all 76 at the same time.
For a week it was impossible to buy drugs on the streets of Phoenix. The single local drug treatment program was swamped. Addicts who could not get treatment left town to score elsewhere. But on the eighth day, new street pushers began to appear in the city, and before a month had elapsed, it was business-as-usual. We had spent tens of thousands of federal tax dollars, and sent scores of pushers to prison, but there was no lasting effect on the availability or price of illicit drugs.
So, in San Diego, we tried another trick. We in ODALE learned that virtually all of the heroin there was being sold by a known gang. State and local police had been unable to bust the gang because the only really effective investigative tool - a court-ordered wire tap - was prohibited by California law.
Because our federal program was not inhibited by state law, our in-house lawyers applied for and obtained a federal wire tap order. After thousands of employee hours at a command center manned around the clock, we arrested all 39 members of the drug gang. For a week it was impossible to buy heroin on the streets of San Diego.
But on the eighth day new street pushers began to appear in the city, and before a month had elapsed it was business-as-usual. We had spent hundreds of thousands of federal tax dollars, and we sent every one of the 39 pushers to federal prison, but there was no lasting effect on the availability of heroin or its price. In one respect we were worse off for our success. Before, we knew who was selling, but afterwards we had no idea.
So what was accomplished? The drug dealers were replaced. Because when there is a market supply will meet demand at a price.
Cross Posted at Classical Values