How the Drug War Eats the Poor
In fact, what is becoming increasingly clear is that international drug prohibition is actually a major driver of global poverty.
“There is a self-perpetuating cycle of poverty. People get involved in drugs to afford the basic essentials of life, because of a lack of other options. Then they get arrested and their life chances are even more severely damaged. So there are whole families where this cycle has been passed down from one generation to the next … Crucially, the particular nature of the drug trade targets the poorest in an especially pernicious way … Simply turning over the drug trade to multi-national corporations will not help the poor. There will need to be serious and transparent government involvement. There’s no one-size-fits-all model, but initiatives like ensuring that employment in the legal industry goes to those already involved, and to limit the formation of monopolies, as is being tried in California and Bolivia, are certainly positive. There’s even an opportunity here – we have the chance to create an entirely new legitimate sector from the ground up. In time, this might even come to serve as a model for other parts of developing economies which suffer from serious corruption.”