THE BLOG

'Drug Related Violence' - A Misnomer We Can Do Without

27/06/2013 11:06 BST | Updated 26/08/2013 10:12 BST
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All over the media, we hear talk of drug related violence. On the streets of Western democracies, in the jungles of Latin America, and elsewhere, people do seem to fight over drugs and the money they can generate.

Funny, when you read about figures such as Al Capone and the violence they doled out, there is rarely any reference to 'liquor related violence'.

Funny, and more so, because alcohol is the one drug more likely to induce violence than any other - including amphetamine.

Of course in either case - the days of alcohol prohibition and the current drug prohibition regime - the real issue is prohibition related violence.

Of course many people know this. I'm not saying anything original here. But it is time that we all started to think clearly, and the choice of language is both indicator and cause either of clarity or obfuscation.

The time has come to get picky, and stop letting public figures get away with referring casually to 'drug related violence' when discussing these matters.

People are getting killed, neighborhoods are being destroyed, entire national economies are being held hostage - but none of that can be attributed to the pharmacological effects of certain drugs. Even alcohol, the worst culprit, will not on it's own cause full-scale wars and hundreds of thousands of killings each year. Now, if alcoholic beverages were illegal then, sure, the alcohol prohibition related violence would probably dwarf the current destruction caused by the prohibition of other drugs.

The war on drugs is on the way out, and cleaning up our governing terminology will be a part of that rational process. In the meantime, let us not forget that a simple phrase such as 'drug related violence' often goes hand in hand with nonsensical statements favoring prohibition because the addicts often steal your televisions and what not. Well, uh ... yeah ... they probably would do it far less often if getting high were as cheap as getting drunk. So prohibition causes junkies to steal, which is why we need more prohibition (!!!???).

The logic employed is not only stupid - it is perverse. Linguistic constructs such as 'drug related violence' serve to buttress this pathetic 'logic' which in turn buttresses an intolerant, and murderous regime of prohibition.