The Harmful Side Effect of Drug Prohibition by Randy Barnett
There are so many reasons why drug prohibition is objectionable, it is hard to enumerate them all. In my Utah Law Review article, The Harmful Side Effects of Drug Prohibition, I try to systematically survey just the “consequentialist” arguments against this socially-destructive social policy. If I were to revise this article today, I suppose I would emphasize even more than I did how destructive the “War on Drugs” has been to the black community, perhaps especially because of the incarceration of thousands of black men, depriving their children of fathers, but also because of how the black market profits from the illicit drug trade supports the gang structure that preys upon the community and sucks up its kids. […]
But, as I said, the problem with assessing the War on Drugs is that there are so many harmful “side effects” of drug prohibition that it is difficult even to know where to begin. This article is my effort to be as comprehensive about these effects, yet still be accessible.
It really doesn’t take much imagination to realize that militarizing the police and outfitting them as if they are about to mount an assault on Fallujah (when they are really just manning a political protest) might lead them to adopt the attitude that they are at war against their fellow citizens.
Nothing new to us here, but important for the rest of the world to wake up.
So Greer and her family visited a series of ATMs, and on March 1, she brought the money to the jail, thinking she’d be taking Joel Greer home. But she left without her money, or her son.
Instead jail officials called in the same Drug Task Force that arrested Greer. A drug-sniffing dog inspected the Greers’ cash, and about a half-hour later, Beverly Greer said, a police officer told her the dog had alerted to the presence of narcotics on the bills — and that the police department would be confiscating the bail money.
“I told them the money had just come from the bank,” Beverly Greer says. “We had just taken it out. If the money had drugs on it, then they should go seize all the money at the bank, too. I just don’t understand how they could do that.”
There’s been a ban?