A systematic review published Tuesday of more than 300 international studies dating back 20 years found that when police crack down on drug users and dealers, the result is almost always an increase in violence, say researchers at the International Centre for Science in Drug Policy, a non-profit group based in Britain and Canada.
When communities get tough on drug crime, that drives up the black market profits, prompting fierce battles to control the lucrative trade, their study says. And when powerful and successful drug bosses are taken out, it's all too common for more brutal and less sophisticated criminals to step in.
"Law enforcement is the biggest single expenditure on drugs, yet has rarely been evaluated. This work indicates an urgent need to shift resources from counter-productive law enforcement to a health-based public health approach,"
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