Thursday, December 15, 2011

Released today: new Count the Costs briefing on the crime costs of the war on drugs

Click to download the PDF
This below is reproduced from the Count the Costs blog.

Far from eliminating drug use and the illicit trade, prohibition has inadvertently fuelled the development of the world’s largest illegal commodities market – a market worth hundreds of billions of dollars, controlled solely by criminal profiteers. Produced in collaboration with project supporters Law Enforcement Against ProhibitionTransform Drug Policy FoundationRelease, theInternational Centre for Science in Drug Policy and Harm Reduction International, the latest Count the Costs briefing outlines how this illicit, unregulated market generates:
  • Organised crime
  • Street crime
  • Mass incarceration
  • Violent crime
  • Crimes perpetrated by governments/states
  • Vast economic costs in terms of drug war-related enforcement

The briefing will form a key part of our outreach to mainstream NGOs working in the criminal justice sector, building on the endorsements Count the Costs has already received from organisations such as the Howard League for Penal Reform and Make Justice Work.

Evidence from across the world reveals that although law enforcement can show seemingly impressive results in terms of arrests and seizures, impacts on the drug market are inevitably marginal, localised and temporary. Indeed, as the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime acknowledges, one of the unintended consequences of the war on drugs is the so-called “balloon effect”, whereby rather than eliminating criminal activity, enforcement just moves it somewhere else. When enforcement does take out criminals, it also creates a vacuum, and even more violence, as rival gangs fight for control.

The Count the Costs initiative has the widely shared goal of a safer, healthier and more just world. It is time for all sectors affected by current approaches to drugs, particularly those agencies, organisations and individuals concerned with crime reduction, to call on governments and the UN to Count the Costs of the war on drugs and explore the alternatives.


Truth of D.A.R.E (Drug Awareness Research Experiment) said...

The war on drugs should be a minimal concern when considering the war on poverty.

Anonymous said...

@ D.A.R.E.
The war on drugs perpetuates poverty, the two are very often intertwined, you should realise that instead of being so negative.

Frank said...


There is no war on poverty. WAKE UP!

Widespread poverty is a primary goal of the global (banking) elite - it churns out plebs who are easy to manipulate, just clever enough to operate the machines, just stupid enough to think they live in a free society.

The prohibition of drugs is a tool used by this elite to spread and deepen poverty. This in addition to direct extraction of wealth from the poor (tax free) who are purposefully enslaved to those drugs which are easiest for the elite to control.

Anonymous said...