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Irony: Newark Launches "Ground War" To Curb Drug Trade Violence

From The New York Times:

NEWARK, Jan. 8 — Mayor Cory A. Booker and his police director announced the formation of a new narcotics division today to try to defeat a stubbornly high murder rate, firmly linking the trade in illegal drugs to the city's persistent violence.

There's a link, alright. And in time politicians will come to understand that it is prohibition which makes drug-trade violence inevitable. Surely we can't keep addressing community problems with hollow rhetoric like this:

The new 45-person unit, led by a deputy chief, will tackle the city's drug trade as it if were a "ground war," he said.

So basically they're proposing a war on violence. It won't work. It can't work because drug-trade violence stems from an absence of regulation, not a shortage of armed police ready to kick doors in on an informant's tip.

In fact, temporary successes achieved through "ground war" tactics frequently increase violence as new competitors rush to replace those removed from the market by law-enforcement. Nor should anyone disregard the abundant collateral damage that occurs when armed raids are conducted based on tips from shady criminal informants.

The New York Times isn't responsible for making this argument, but they should at least acknowledge it. The discussion of drug-trade violence is incomplete and unproductive when the contributing role of drug prohibition goes unmentioned.

Help us spread the message: The New York Times accepts letters to the editor at [email protected].

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Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
Looking for the easiest way to join the anti-drug war movement? You've found it!

At least it's less stupid than federal drug policy.

Newark is a predominantly poor, mostly black city. I grew up nearby in a solidly middle class, mainly white suburb. (My parents still live there.) Sometimes we used to go to Newark to buy weed. One day a dude showed us a gun he had in his waist, as if he were going to pull it on us. That was the last time we bought our stuff there.

Cory Booker is no fool. He went to Stanford, Oxford, and Yale Law. He knows he's not going to win the Drug War. He's going to try to move the Drug War--and the death and destruction that inevitably follows.

Instead of sweeping a problem under the rug, he's moving it to the next town over.

Maybe some drug dealers will take their goods over to East Orange or Irvington. Maybe they'll just find better ways to hide from the police in Newark. Maybe turf wars will result in an effort to fill the power vacuums that will arise when one dealer.

One thing's for sure: North Jersey's drug users--rich and poor, urban and suburban, Black and White--will still be able to get their drugs.

NEWARK???WHAT???WAR ZONE???DRUG WAR????NOoooooo??? right here?

Im glad that they are targeting these hardcore drug dealers,killers,and taking them down, every arrest helps, and every arrest might hurt their families and livelyhood, but its the law!! no??? But what about the poor just stayin poor, how bout the hunger goin on right here???livin paycheckl to paycheck, for what??to pay large taxes and be bought down by societies rules??? I know these people are just tryin to make a living, they dont know any other way!! Its sad but true....They never learned another way, or if they did they didnt appreciate working legally for a hard earned dollar instead of a quick one!! But quick money is very tempting,,, Please I dont care who you are.....But if theres alot of cash put in frot of you to take a risk or two,Im sure you would take it too....hey! we all make decisions in life, But these people need help!!!,
Not a war!!!
... for cleaning somethings up, but never will we stop people from making decisions...............Big Pookdaddy from newark....bloomfield ave....lets give help not hell, by locking everyone up .........eventually sooo many more people will be destroyed by these arrests.......lets take it easy give em help!!not a life of no way out!!!!! thanks BOoker

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