Drug related crime: a distinction between crimes rooted in prohibition and crimes caused by drug use

Essay by drunken_pixie_lord May 2004

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The concept of drug related crime is defined as a causal connection, which can be established between drug consumption and crime commission . However the two principal aspects of drug use which are connected to crime can be distinguished as :

1) Crimes, which are directly related to drug use, or

2) Crimes, which are rooted in policies of drug prohibition.

Drug related crime is a dynamic social occurrence, however it is limited in its causality to particular types of crimes and drugs .

It must also be emphasised that caution be exercised when drawing a concluding implication of the nexus between drug use and crime. This is because the nexus is also often used to tangible effect in order to support government policy and the need to "get tough on drugs". Thus the concept of drug related crime can be used as a "two way street" which may be manipulated in a direction, favourable to those who support the argument for drug prohibition and those who oppose it.

Consequently one can never accept a statement pertaining to drug related crime on face value, as underlying aims seek to be furthered. Also one must be critical in the use of the term drug related crime as the term does not clearly define the specific nature or range of such crimes

To understand the development of drug related crime and aid in critical perspectives, it is prudent to analyse the historical development of drug prohibition.

Opium was the first drug to be prohibited in Australia . Opium probation was not the result of a call to morality against any harmful effects; rather it was the result of racial bias against the Chinese, who threatened economic security by undercutting Australian labour costs and an attempt to protect white women from molestation at...