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Argument: Marijuana legalization does not undermine organized crime and mafias

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Supporting evidence

  • "Why Cannabis Must Remain Illegal". Drug Watch International. January 12, 2002 - "Another argument put forward is that State controlled and taxed sale of drugs would unseat the International Mafia. Where is the evidence for this? For example, in 1988, The Netherlands had three organised crime groups, but by 1993 that number had risen to 93. (Source: Dutch National Committee on Prevention) The Mafia are only interested in making money. When drugs are no longer illegal, they will move into the legitimate market. Because of the addictive nature of cannabis, the Mafia would have access to a growing market as with alcohol and cigarettes. They can also “undercut” the legal suppliers and provide a stronger variety without it being challenged. Who will police the underage market?
In the Netherlands, where de facto decriminalisation is practised (the Dutch Government calls it separation of the market), there has been a 49 percent rise in registered cannabis addicts between 1991-93. In 1988, there were three organised crime groups in that country. By 1993, there were 93. Seventy-three percent of Dutch people think that their drug laws are too tolerant. Cannabis use among students in Holland has increased by 250 percent since 1984. (Source: K.F.Gunning MD. Drug Legalisation, Harm Reduction and Drug Policy). Shootings have increased by 4 percent, car thefts by 6 percent and hold-ups by 69 percent. (Gunning) The consequences of these lax policies prove clearly that, far from freeing up the judicial system, they are grinding the system to a halt. The murder rate in Amsterdam is greater than Newark in New Jersey, a city of similar size. Recent figures released by the Brixton Police in the UK show a rise in crime since the local police chief took it upon himself to reclassify cannabis possession for personal use as a misdemeanour."

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