The commercial vices are gambling, prostitution, and drugs. The appeals
of the commercial vices are so strong and widespread that attempts to prohibit
them in western countries have always failed.
The evils of these vices are threefold: Those who practice
them suffer, the criminals who sell them prosper, and the
enforcement organizations are expensive, unsuccessful, and often corrupt.
Two commercial vices have been accepted as unstoppable, but
there evils have been minimized by legalization and regulation. These are
the particular drug, alcohol, and gambling. Ethyl alcohol, the drug in beer,
whiskey, and wine does more harm is causing accidents, overdose deaths,
job failures, broken homes, and violence than all other drugs
The United States attempted to prohibit alcohol and failed. The
Mafia made its money by bootlegging alcohol. The gangsters of the twenties
and thiries were in the alcohol business just as the drug peddlers of
today are in the drug business. Both settled trade disputes with gun fire. When
alcohol prohibition was repealed and sale by licensed dealers was instituted,
the Mafia went out of the liquor business and the revenue agents assigned to
stop the illegal business went out of business too. The quality of regulated
liquor became assured and taxed, not high enough to motivate bootlegging,
became a source of public revenue. Consumption of legal alcohol became only
slightly greater than the consumption of illegal alcohol had been.
If we follow the alcohol example with all other drugs, the benefits will
obtain. Much more than that, the temptation of the forbidden fruits will
disappear. The jailing of petty drug pushers will stop, together with their
training as future serious criminals in the crime schools which are jails. If
we transfer the huge sums wasted on efforts and on punishment to serious
education and rehabilitation programs, the drug problem will retreat to the
trivial level it was fifty years ago.
At one time all but private gambling at home was illegal. So the Mafia
ran the numbers rackets and secret games and the bookmaking where law
abiding citizens did their unstoppable gambling. Now governments run
lotteries and license and supervise casinos so the gangsters are largely out,
cheating in minimal, and governments earn revenue instead of paying police.
Prostitution is an even more emotional problem. Addiction to sex is
genetic, permanent, and deprivation has many more penalties. Prostitution is
the worlds oldest profession. Here, again, legalization and regulation in
Nevada was already eliminated the pimps and gangsters and reduce the police
force. With medical examinations and licensing of the practitioners, there will
be a radical reduction in the spread of venerel diseases, including aids. For
those already diseased there can be a matching of buyer and seller
by coding there license cards.
In conclusion, the government will take any law they can’t enforce
and turn it around in order to make and
save money. But they are also making less jobs for the police and other law
enforcement agencies. I believe that in the end this way of
doing things will more than likely hurt us overall.