Drug Prohibition and Violence

With prohibition inevitably comes violence, because competitors in an unregulated market have no legal recourse to resolve disputes.  Rather than proposing specific policies for increasing prevention and treatment services to directly impact drug use in the United States, the federal government's approach to the alarming drug trade-related violence along the U.S.-Mexican border has been to pour more money into law enforcement crackdowns on cartels and efforts to intercept drug shipments coming from Mexico.  Throughout the drug war's history, these kinds of supply-side interventions have consistently failed to reduce violence.  They have instead made the illicit drug market more profitable, more competitive and more dangerous.
 
The only way to dramatically reduce drug trade-related violence is to end prohibition.  DPA is developing public health alternatives to prohibition, including increased treatment availability and better drug education, that would help reduce the demand for drugs and minimize the influence of violent cartels.  The United States needs to abandon its criminal justice-based drug policy model to have any hope of quelling drug war violence at home or abroad.