A powerful op-ed appears in today's National Post in Canada. Written byMichael C. Chettleburgh (author, researcher and consultant on Canadian gang culture), and titled 'put the drug gangs out of business: legalize drugs', it considers the the role of prohibition, in combination with social deprivation, in fuelling the devastating development of violent urban gang culture in the US and Canada. He argues for a remedy involving prevention in the form of social development combined with the collapsing of the illicit market through legalisation and regulation of illegal drugs. From the conclusion:
"Absent a robust underground trade in drugs, just how are Canada's estimated 14,000 street gangsters going to make sufficient money to offset the dangers inherent in the job of gangster? Sure, they may turn to other criminal enterprise, but there is not another in the world so alluring, so profitable, so vibrant, than the drug trade. Drug reform will not solve the drug problem entirely. But it will go a long way to solving what has been termed the "drug-problem problem," which is the pull of the gang and its associated crime and violence."