While extolling the virtues of legislation increasing mandatory minimum sentences for firearms crimes in Canada, Edmonton Sun columnist Mindelle Jacobs observes:

If we wanted to engineer an immediate, dramatic drop in crime, we’d legalize drugs, demolishing the profit motive. For the most part, it’s not poor people gunning each other down in Alberta’s red-hot economy – it’s greedy, rich punks fighting over drug turf.

In a paper on our failed drug war a few years ago, the Fraser Institute wondered why we spend so much money on drug prohibition in an effort to save a small hardcore group of drug users from themselves.

We should be asking ourselves the same thing. It is drugs – not prohibition – that boost crime, the institute noted. If we were smart, we’d divert the money we’re spending on drug prohibition into treatment programs for addicts.

Some of her conclusions, particularly regarding prohibition not being the cause of violence are wrong, of course, and I can’t say that I favor increasing minimum sentences in America, but she’s partly correct about decriminalization reducing the profit motive, and therefore being a good reason to reform current drug policy.

  • Laura Lee great post. I happened acosrs you via Twitter. Glad I did. I truly believe most lawyers, at least the ones who DO care, make serious efforts to give back.’ Many times, however, we do get caught up in the daily grind. It’s good to have a reminder such as this posting this is what it’s about. The community members come to us for help on an individual basis. Helping them with their case is most rewarding, but we should always keep in mind that many are out there who can use our help in many ways other than representation. Thanks for the reminder!