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McMafia author Misha Glenny: ‘I don’t want to be moral. I want to show people the way the world works’

Posted on December 30th, 2017 at 17:47 by John Sinteur in category: News -- Write a comment


“If you want to do something about organised crime, the quickest way to do it is legalise drugs, or decriminalise, or at least start down that road. In Latin America, more than 100,000 people are murdered every year because of drug laws fashioned in Washington. It’s unconscionable. It’s the most immoral thing that I’ve come across. Anyone who has worked in Central and South America, if they don’t come out demanding drug law reform then in moral terms they’re criminals as far as I’m concerned. It’s appalling”.

It’s true, he concedes, that if drugs were removed from the black market, criminals would diversify into other forms of contraband. “But nothing – nothing – comes even close to an equivalently valuable income stream. The key thing is that you’d get sufficient tax revenues to deal with the associated health problems of drugs. You’re no longer having to deal with people who were getting that revenue and buying weapons with it, so you also reduce the violence. For example, in 2016 Colorado accrued in taxation from marijuana about $140m on sales of almost $1bn. That is more than twice the amount from alcohol sales and part of that money is hypothecated for the education and health systems. Has civilisation collapsed in Colorado? No, it hasn’t, because they’re smoking as much dope as they were before. It’s just that it’s no longer organised crime who are getting the benefit, it’s the state.” He shakes his head. “It’s just a no-brainer”.

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