Pubdate: Tue, 09 Nov 1999
Source: Halifax Daily News (CN NS)
Copyright: 1999 The Daily News.
Author: John G. Chase


To the editor:

As an American, I have no standing to comment on Canadian problems, but if
the subject is illegal drugs, we Americans are experts. (Crack-house List
Too Long for City, editorial, Oct. 28). By U.S. standards, 135 crack houses
sounds like a lot for a city the size of Halifax, but compared to what?

Imagine the dynamics of shutting down half of the "crack" houses. The price
goes up and users become more desperate for money to buy their drug.
Desperate people commit more property crime. Drug dealers are killed in
turf battles. The market eventually adjusts to the new conditions. The
murders diminish, prices drop and property crime abates. The stage is set
for yet another cycle.

As a general rule, study what the U.S. has done in the drug war and do the
opposite. You'll be right.

John G. Chase
Palm Harbor, Fla.

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MAP posted-by: Keith Brilhart