« Danny Kushlick for Legalization on BBC | Main | Baltimore Police Admit Their Campaign Has Prompted More Violence »

January 13, 2005

Mass Cocaine Arrests in Jackson, Mississippi

Today's issue of The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi, reported on mass arrests of accused participants in a cocaine ring. Get this -- it took 60 people from 10 different agences a whopping seven years to pull it off. If they took the relatively modest $160,000 worth of cocaine impounded in the operation and sold it back onto the street at black market prices, that would scarcely begin to recoup the costs of arresting, prosecuting and incarcerating the 22 suspects.

I decided to get off my behind this time and send in a letter to the editor of my own. Here's what I wrote:

The arrest of 22 people on drug trafficking charges in Clay County following a seven year operation is a major event in the lives of enforcers and defendants alike. But what does it signify?

As the editor of a major weekly newsletter on drug policy, I view such events through a different lens than most. At Drug War Chronicle we rarely report on drug busts, even large ones. The reason is they happen so often, but the drug situation never seems to change as a result, at least not for long. We can't devote much ink to big drug busts because we would be stuck telling the same story over and over, and our readers would get bored.

Just as fruit and vegetable distributors anticipate some of their product will go bad before reaching the supermarkets, illicit drug producers and traffickers expect some of their goods to be seized, so they ship correspondingly greater quantities. That's why although drug seizures may make good visuals, they ultimately don't reduce the amount of drugs on the streets. Markets just don't work that way.

I urge The Clarion-Ledger to run follow-ups, perhaps in two weeks, a month, and at two or three months. Examine whether these arrests have reduced cocaine's availability or increased its price in Clay County. If I am right, the answer will either be "no" or "not for long." Better to regulate the drug through some form of legalization -- prohibition didn't work before and it isn't working now.

I'll let you know if it gets published. In the meantime, consider submitting your own! The Ledger's opinion page has information on how to do so.

- Dave Borden, DRCNet

Posted by dborden725 at January 13, 2005 10:13 PM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://stopthedrugwar.org/cgi-bin/mtype/mt-tb.cgi/14

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Mass Cocaine Arrests in Jackson, Mississippi:

» Jackson Utopia from James Landrith - Taking The Gloves Off
David Borden on Mass Cocaine Arrests in Jackson, Mississippi: Today's issue of The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi, reported on mass arrests of accused participants in a cocaine ring. Get this -- it took 60 people from 10 different agences a... [Read More]

Tracked on January 14, 2005 11:24 AM

» Nokia 6230 from Nokia 6230
One of the best Nokia Mobile Phone Model - Nokia 6230 [Read More]

Tracked on August 22, 2005 11:06 AM

Comments

Post a comment




Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)