Monday, March 23, 2009

Drug warriors' Gangs can not walk and chew gum at the same time argument

One of the arguments that I have repeatedly come across recently is that should marijuana be legalized then the gangs will move onto other things. I prefer to call this the gangs can not walk and chew gum at the same time argument.

The problem with this argument is that the gangs are already into other things and it is profits from marijuana that are helping them do that. In the context of Canada, marijuana profits and sometimes even marijuana itself are providing the seed capital the gangs need to expand operations into the States, for example, and to diversify operations (e.g., cocaine, heroin, human trafficking and guns). This is one of the main reasons why we need to nip this in the bud.

Do not take my word for it though. Take the RCMP's or VPD's or any police force that you can think of.

Allan Castle, head of the RCMP's criminal analysis section in B.C "B.C. bud . . . was really the industrial revolution of organized crime in B.C.," Mr. Castle said. "It made a lot of bad guys very, very wealthy. And it developed international networks that hadn't existed before."

Special Agent Jeffrey Wagner of DEA "What happens is the organizations, instead of smuggling currency over the border to pay for cocaine to bring up and then again smuggling ecstasy or marijuana over the border, they look at it as a way to pay their debt."

Attributed to RCMP Cpl. Norm Massie "He said gangsters trade weapons and drugs, often with ecstasy and marijuana heading to the U.S. in exchange for guns and cocaine."


dumbwhore said...

Not to mention, if the gangs were only into things that most citizens are against they'd get much weaker support networks. As it is, they have a very wide base of support even if it's not a very deep source of support.

Anonymous said...

I'm not so sure about this logic. The gangs have a distribution system, like a huge illegal "Wal-Mart". If you legalize one section of the Gang-Mart, the first group with the distribution and production advantage is: Gang-Mart. And, Gang-Mart would, if one section of product is no longer available, will find another product. Those folks at the top of the Gang-Mart pyramid CAN walk and chew gum. They're smart and ruthless people who are probably very good at finding ways to make their income turn legitimate.

Legalize if you want, but don't expect it to make a long term decrease in gang activity, and dont be at all surprised to find that the gang suppliers have found ways to become Legit.

Koby said...

"Gang-Mart would, if one section of product is no longer available, will find another product."

So what you are saying is one, Gangs are more likely to diversify as they become less profitable and to expand into new markets as they become less profitable. Two gangs are cable of magically increasing demand for other kinds of drugs to make up for a huge whole in their profits. The reverse is true in the first case and with regard to the 2nd the gangs have no such power.

What would happen is this. If there was a lot less product to move, the gang world will down size just like any other sector of the economy experiencing a down turn. The gangs will not recruit as much and jail and death will do what a pink slip would normally do. Members who ended up in jail or who died or who simply moved on would not be replaced the way they once were. The less gang members there are the less shootings there will be.