One thought on “Drug Arrests are Proving Ineffective, But Do Reforms Yield Better Results?

  1. This article misses the most important point; why has the government made these drugs illegal in the first place?
    I can only suggest the legitimate reason for state enforcement because it probably changes from state to state. But if history is any indicator, then they probably follow the government. And the government uses regulations of interstate commerce as their reason. Particularly, these drugs has some connection to criminal enterprises and gang affiliations. Essentially, the government says that any use of drugs promotes these criminal enterprises which is simply not true.
    Take for instance Taylor v. United States, 14-6166 (2016)
    https://casetext.com/case/taylor-v-united-states-269/analysis?citingPage=1&sort=relevance&sortCiting=date-ascending
    The commerce clause allows congress to regulate any activity as long as it has any conceivable effect on commerce regardless of what the actual effect the instant activity has on interstate commerce. See e.g., Gonzalez v. Raich, 545 U.S. 1
    This allows the government to prosecute individuals who actually assist the purpose of legislative acts like in the Taylor case above.
    What do I mean by this? One of the key purposes of the Controlled Substance Act (CSA) is to “(6) Federal control of the intrastate incidents of the traffic in controlled substances is essential to the effective control of the interstate incidents of such traffic.” 21 U.S.C. §§ 801(1)-(6).” See id., at 13.
    Taylor’s case is particularly relevant because when an individual steals such products, then it is a proper substitute from the market. See Wickard v. Filburn, 317 U.S. 111, 128. Taylor’s actions harmed the interstate market for the materials because it directly deprived the producers of the material the business they could have obtained through proper channels (had Taylor purchased the materials). In other words, if everyone was to grow their own product, or steal from the big producers of the product, you kill any economic incentive for the product and it kills the business. See e.g., U.S. v. Moghadam, 175 F.3d 1269, 1276 and N.11 (11th Cir. 1999) (discussing how bootlegging destroys the market for intellectual properties)

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