Commercial vices - gambling, prostitution, and drugs

Essay by william parkerUniversity, Master'sA+, January 1997

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Commercial Vices

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 combined.

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prohibition was repealed and sale by licensed dealers was instituted, the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...