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Drug Use Does Not Cause Crime -- Prohibition Does 

Various government agencies have been deeply concerned about the relationship of drugs and violence. After extensive study, they have shown that drug-related crime is a common misnomer. The proper phrase is prohibition-related crime. 

The Panel on the Understanding and Control of Violent Behavior was established by the National Academy of Sciences in 1988 in response to a request made by three Federal agencies: the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In 1994 it concluded: 

"Alcohol is the only psychoactive drug that in many individuals tends to increase aggressive behavior temporarily while it is taking effect."

"Marijuana and opiates [heroin] temporarily inhibit violent behavior. There is no evidence to support the claim that snorting or injecting cocaine stimulates violent behavior. In the case of alcohol, hazards tend to be related to use, while for illegal psychoactive drugs they tend to be related to distribution and purchase. 

"Alcohol drinking and violence are linked through pharmacological effects on behavior. Illegal drugs and violence are linked primarily through drug marketing: disputes among rival distributors, arguments and robberies involving buyers and sellers, property crimes committed to raise drug money and, more speculatively, social and economic interactions between the illegal markets and the surrounding communities." 

In 1998, "Drug Czar" McCaffrey announced that a study by CASA of criminals under the influence of drugs at the time of the commission of their crime showed that 25% were under the influence of only one drug. When only one drug was involved, the drug was: alcohol, 84% -- cocaine, 12% -- heroin, 4% -- sole use of marijuana was too infrequent for inclusion. 

Crime Slashed By Giving Addicts Their Drugs: Historical Studies

* Shreveport, LA - 1919 to 1923 

"Various officials were also interviewed. Federal District Judge Jack again affirmed his high opinion of the clinic. He warned that he would vigorously oppose any steps taken toward a discontinuance of the clinic, because from his own knowledge it had lessened crime in the city. ... Both the chief of police and sheriff said that crimes which might be resorted to to pay for illicit drugs had lessened since the inauguration of the clinic. The U.S. marshal was of the same opinion." 

- from "The American Disease" by historian David Musto 

* Kentucky - 1950s and 1960s 

" ... the addict whose drugs came from a stable source was no great problem to the community ... He became a serious problem only if he engaged in illegal activities to obtain narcotics. The alcoholic was more visible and his arrests more frequent." 

- Dr. John O'Donnell, chief of research for the National Institute of Mental Health, 1969 

* Switzerland - late 1990s 

"Before going on heroin maintenance, 59 percent of the Swiss addicts in the program were involved in criminal activity. Because they no longer needed cash to pay exorbitant prices on the black market, by the end of the experiment that number dropped to 10 percent." 

- Washington Post, 12-21-97

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