Over at Blame the Drug War, Tanya has an interesting post that takes me to task for part of my FAQ page, where I am somewhat unsympathetic to drug dealers.
She’s got a point — one that’s been raised with me before. And I must admit that I was mostly going for a bit of comic effect with that particular item — essentially pointing out that the only ones benefitting from the drug war are those who profit from it.
I think the problem is in definitions (and the fact that the government sees no distinctions in “dealers”). As Tanya correctly notes, someone passing a joint could be called a drug dealer, and I’m clearly not referring to them.
Maybe I should title that section: “I am a violent drug trafficker who is only interested in huge profits from the black market and don’t care who gets hurt in the process. Why should I support drug policy reform?”
Any other suggestions on differentiating the helpful, peaceful neighborhood drug dealer who wants fair compensation for providing a useful item vs. the violent criminal trafficker?
It’s true that we often demonize the drug dealer in drug policy reform discussion, because one of the key points is that drug legalization will reduce the violence that is related to black market drug commerce. And it’s also true that I want to put most illegal drug dealers out of work by legalizing drugs (perhaps so that the best of them can then use their expertise to move into the legal market). I would hope that to be a goal of the helpful, peaceful neighborhood drug dealer as well.
- DrugWarRant.com, the longest running single-issue blog devoted to drug policy
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