HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Cash Won't Help War On Drugs
Source: Victoria Times Colonist (Canada) 
Pubdate: Tue, 24 Nov 1998 
Author: Gil Puder


David Staples' Nov 19 article (Funding cuts hamstring war against drugs) is
symptomatic of the bureaucratic myopia that controls criminal drug
enforcement. Bigger budgets and property seizure will hurt, not improve
public safety.

Shutting down CLUE has been openly talked about for the 17 years I've been
in policing.  The stories I hear from my colleagues who've worked there are
about Mountie-Muni turf fights rather than catching organized crime kingpins.

Budgetary largesse in past years enabling some municipal police to
accompany RCMP officers on overseas junkets hardly justifies throwing more
money at a failure.  Suggesting otherwise truly exemplifies the folly of
the drug war.

One must also ask how much money would ever be enough to satiate the drug
enforcement appetite.  Nobel laureate economist Milton Friedman has for
years stated that market forces will always prevail over police
intervention, with increased enforcement only driving up the violence and

British economist Richard Stevenson has identified drug cartels with more
financial power than some nations.  Could anyone but a Canadian public
servant bureaucrat possibly be naive enough to believe that the taxpayer
funder trough runs that deep?

Understandably, broke police managers want to keep seized assets, but the
practice has inevitably led to corruption and violence.  When an innocent
Californian millionaire gets killed by a drug squad trying to seize his
house with a bogus search warrant, people better ask themselves if they
really want to turn their cops into money-makers.

Ex-Inspector Staple's good old days really weren't that good, because they
simply created the mess we're in now.  For too many years we've been
playing morality poker with public safety for chips, and it's no time to
raise the stakes when you hold a losing hand.

Gil Puder 
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Checked-by: Richard Lake