DRUG LEGALIZATION AND ITS IMPACT TO THE FUTURE OF ORGANIZED CRIME IN AMERICA 5
DRUGLEGALIZATION AND ITS IMPACT TO THE FUTURE OF ORGANIZED CRIME INAMERICA
TheAmerican society is one of the most modern and dynamic societies inthe world. This phenomenon is clearly reflected in theirlegislations but on the downside, there is presence of more drugabuse and sophisticated crimes (organized crimes). Organized crime isa form of crime that involves international, national or localgroupings with centralized enterprises run by criminals engaging inillegal activities to further an agenda or for profit (Woodiwiss,2003). Latest legislations in the US legalizing Marijuana, an illegal drugin many countries, for medical and even recreation purposes inseveral states, has sparked a debate on whether legalizing drugs inthe US would severely curtail profits of various organized crimegroups. This paper analyzes the debate on the impacts of druglegalization and its impact on the future of organized crime inAmerica.
Taxelement on the drugs and tariffs on imported drugs
Mostproponents of legalization of drugs argue that the massive cash flowin its illegal form will enable taxation of funds accrued from itstrade. According to Frontline (2014), approximately $37 billioncirculate annually in illegal cocaine business in America. Thisforms an important source of revenue to the State’s. Equally, theyargue that income can be sourced from tariffs on imported drugs. Themove is seen to eliminate the black market for such drugs and byassumption reduce incomes received by the organized criminal. Theargument is simplistic considering the tax and tariff element in theprice of the legal drugs will create a ‘grey market’ for thesame, where the initial drug traffickers will offer the same atprices slightly lower than the legal sources. This coupled with thefact that more users will be created by the legalization, due tolower prices, ease of access and its legal status might push moreusers to the illegal drug dealers than before, compensating for thereduced margins due to reduced prices (Schaffer Library of DrugPolicy.2016). This shows that profits that are assumed to besustaining organized groups will not change and thus no effect onthem.
Controlson the legalization legislation
Norational society in the world can allow legalization of all the drugsin their States to mean some drugs must remain illegal for the goodof the society. The drugs that will remain illegal then will offer asource of sustenance to the organized groups and their enterprise andalso compensate for any reduced profits from the legal drug businesssource. It is also rational to say that legalization will put a capon the quantity that an individual user can access per unit time, saydaily, to reduce chances of abuse. Although, the legal drug may becheaper, limits on the quantity will push users back to theiroriginal drug dealers for ‘top-ups’, coupled with the fact thatlegalization will create more users, means the amount of profits tothe organized crime enterprises remain unchanged or even goes higher(McCaffrey, 1999).
Themost likely reaction by the organized crime enterprise tolegalization
Althoughas earlier seen, profits will remain almost unchanged in the longterm, in the short term the mode of doing business and profits willbe hit negatively. Organized crime enterprises are run by ‘criminals’and will be shallow to believe that once their income from suchcontrolled business lines reduces, they will opt for legal means tocompensate for the income difference. The most possible reaction willbe to be more aggressive on their other income sources and newerillegal activities, meaning an upsurge in other criminal activitiesby the organized criminals is likely to be experienced in States thatlegalize drugs. Another expected reaction to the interference into‘their businesses’ will lead the ‘criminals’ to violentretaliations (McCaffrey, 1999). Violent attacks especially on thelegal dispensers of the legal drug and pharmacies that dispense legaldrugs. This is to insinuate that an upsurge in other criminalactivities and violence is expected from the organized criminalenterprises.
Whetherlegalizing drugs in America will severely curtail the profits oforganized crime groups and whatever impact it will have to theirfuture, is subject to discussion. However, considering the organizedcrime enterprises were not formed because drugs were/are illegal, avery small, if any change will be expected in the future of theenterprises. Income leakages from the drug business must still becompensated by the other illegal activities of the group and the mayalso venture into newer forms of crime to sustain their enterprises.Although a link is seen between the drug business and survival of theorganized crime in America, it is not strong enough to guaranteeextinction of the crime by legalization of drugs and thus othermeasure need to be put in place if the American administration wantsto control organized crime in their society.
Frontline.(2014).WhoAre America’s Drug Users?.Retrieved on 9thAugust2016 from,
McCaffrey(1999). Thedestructive impact of drugs on the United States: How thelegalization of drugs would jeopardize the health and safety of theAmerican people and our nation.Washington, DC: The Office.
SchafferLibrary of Drug Policy.(2016). Chaptertwo: Crime and Drug Legalization.Retrieved on 9thAugust2016 from www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/debate/myths/myths3./html.
Woodiwiss,M. (2003). Organizedcrime and American power: A history.Toronto [u.a.: Univ. of Toronto Press.