There were more overdoses in Philly last year than gun homicides. Anyone seen an article on the drug problem facing Philly youth? My observation is that gun homicides occur largely in the â€œdealer class,â€ while the overdoses occur in the â€œuser classâ€.
As much as I might recognize the drugs and violence are fairly intertwined, I think the drug war has hurt these communities more than the drugs themselves. I favor ending the drug war for this reason. Remove the black market incentive for drugs, and the violent black market in drugs will end.
You’ll still have the addict problem, but if you took all the money that goes into enforcing our drug laws (and it’s sizable), and put it into education and treatment, I think you’d find it money much better spent. It will help not having drug dealers shooting it out on the street corner, and it will also help not to send the message to young poor kids, with no hope and no opportunity, that the only way they can escape the poverty they live in is by joining a gang and selling drugs.
The drugs war, in my view, is a prime example of wealthy suburbanites supporting laws, under the illusion that it makes their kids safer from drugs, because they don’t live in the communities that are paying the price for maintaining that illusion. No doubt you’ll find support for keeping drugs illegal in virtually all communities, but the people I’ve encounterd who argue most passionately for it are middle class parents.