This week, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s office announced that they would be installing new security cameras around the city and knocking on more than 18,000 doors, without warrants, as a part of an initiative called “operation ceasefire”.
Sheriff John Rutherford, Mayor Alvin Brown and Councilwoman Denise Lee made the announcement this Tuesday at a press conference outside of the local Sheriff’s office. The sheriff admitted that many aspects of the program, including the security cameras, would be paid for with money that was taken from victims of the drug war.
“We’re going to use the drug money we pull out of this neighborhood to protect this neighborhood,” Rutherford said.
In addition to the aspects of the project which are being funded through asset forfeiture, the department is also asking for tax funding of over 3 million dollars for new officers. The stated goal of this program is to decrease violent crime, most of which is related to the drug trade. However, the violence of the drug war is a direct result of prohibition, and the best way to stop that violence is to end prohibition.
Mayor Brown said at the press conference that “We must also be tough on the causes of crime. One of the best ways to stop crime is to prevent it.”
Unfortunately, he does not seem to realize that prohibition is actually one of the main things causing violent crime.
As explained in this article, 8 reasons to end prohibition of all drugs immediately:
The steady increase in violent crime over the past few decades is directly correlated with the escalation of the drug war. As we saw during the times of alcohol prohibition, when you ban any inanimate object, you create an incentive for people to get involved in the black market distribution of that object. Since there is no accountability, or means of peaceful dispute resolution within the black market, buyers and sellers are forced to resort to violence as their sole means of handling disagreements.
Eventually, this violence spills over into the everyday world and effects everyone’s lives. No one could imagine Budweiser and Miller Lite in a back alley gunfight, but less than a century ago during alcohol prohibition, distributors of the drug were involved in shootouts on a regular basis, just as drug gangs are today. Of course, all of this violence came to an immediate end when alcohol was legalized, however, it was not long before the establishment found a new crusade in the drug war, which allowed them to continue the same policy just with different substances.
At the press conference, there were also many complaints about budget cuts, which may be the true reason behind this seemingly desperate call for action from the police department.
There is some circumstantial evidence that legalizing drugs actually does reduce violent crime. As we reported this week, the murder rate in Denver was actually cut in half following marijuana legalization.