New York's crack epidemic of the late eighties undoubtedly contributed to a huge rise in crime figures. Crack, as you will recall, is illegal.
So is heroin. But in recent years for several geo-political reasons increasing amounts of low-cost and very pure heroin has been hitting New York's streets, and as one correspondent to the Spectator points out, this "quasi legalisation" of heroin has been accompanied by ... what do you think: a drop in crime figures.
So what do you think? Could it be that what's being too much overlooked in the link everyone sees between illegal drugs and crime is the 'illegal' rather than the drugs? That's the answer given by the correspondent, who points out: "Heroin is more widely available than at any time in history -- probably more than if it were legal. Addicts simply do not have to commit so much crime to feed their habit."
And that's also the position of the criminal justice profesionals from LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) who argue that, "We believe that to save lives and lower the rates of disease, crime and addiction, as well as to conserve tax dollars, we must end drug prohibition."
Lindsay Mitchell has the letter on her blog. I recommend a read, and a pondering of the implications.
LINK: A different take on NY crime drop - Lindsay Mitchell
Law Enforcement Against Prohibition - website for LEAP
RELATED: Victimless Crimes, Politics-US