“Each particle is a microcosm, and faithfully renders the likeness of the world.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Everything about the War On Drugs™ is backwards. Newspapers tasked with telling people the truth have instead told us “marihuana” sends people into murderous rages. Public officials responsible for our health have told us it’s addictive and harmful. Cops are protecting criminals by having legal businesses shut down, cats and dogs playing together, mass hysteria.
Lead and prodded by the drug enforcement cops whose department stands to benefit from the ruling, the city of Los Angeles closed down 430 legal marijuana dispensaries in June of 2010. The argument made by drug enforcement types, whose budgets are funded by the drug war, went like this: dispensaries cause crime because they contain cash and marijuana, which thieves can steal and resell. (Which is slightly ironic no?)
So here’s what we have:
– A legal business is started in a city patrolled by police.
– The primary function of a police force is to protect individuals and businesses from criminals.
– Lobbyists for the police argue that because the business contains valuable inventory and money from the sale of that inventory, it is causing crime by attracting people who wish to steal that inventory or money. They are somehow successful at this.
– The business then is shut down to protect criminals from temptation.
Thus we have a perfect illustration of how upside down and backwards the drug war is, and always has been. Every single one of those reasons given by drug enforcement officials pertains to every retail business. By that rationale, they should be shutting down jewelers, liquor stores, Best Buy and pretty much any other location that dares to sell consumer goods.
Thankfully, science and education are here to help. Tell ’em, senior RAND economist Mirielle Jacobson:
“If medical marijuana dispensaries are causing crime, then there should be a drop in crime when they close.”
Makes sense, right?
When medical marijuana dispensaries close, crime rises in the surrounding neighborhood when compared to areas where dispensaries are allowed to remain open
… according to a study conducted by the well respected RAND Corporation. That’s right: the evidence suggests closing down dispensaries made crime go up.
So, again, what we have here:
– The people whose job it is to stop crime force hundreds of legitimate businesses to close down.
– As a result, crime in the area around those ex-businesses goes up.
– The people whose job it is to stop crime have in fact created more of it.
Everything the anti-marijuana fanatics said was proven wrong, and everything they accomplished actually created more problems.
So there we have it: a microcosm of the anti-cannabis drug war at large, perfectly illustrated in L.A. county. There are only so many times these types of examples can be made before everyone realizes drug enforcement policy is on the wrong side of the law on the marijuana debate.
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