Cop Says Drug Prohibition Places All the Power in the Hands of Criminals

David Bratzer enforces the law, but he doesn’t necessary agree with it when it comes to illegal drugs.

“One of the sad things about the prohibition of drugs in our society is that despite more than four decades of heavy drug enforcement, we see today that drugs are cheaper, more available and more pure than ever before,” said Bratzer, an active officer with the Victoria Police Department who sees the war on drugs as a failure.

“Drug enforcement now dominates what police officers do, so every day in my job I find myself trying to manage the consequences of drug prohibition.

“All of these issues are more related to the prohibition of drugs than drug-use itself.”

Which is why Bratzer decided that in his off-duty hours, he’d work independently with Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.

An international organization, LEAP is made up of cops, judges and prosecutors who want to legalize and regulate drugs to minimize crime, disease, addiction and death.

“We don’t support drug abuse or breaking the law,” said Bratzer.  “But we believe a system of regulation would be more effective and less harmful than drug prohibition.”

He’ll make his case in Cowichan on Jan. 25 during a free, public presentation at the Duncan Garage Showroom at 7 p.m.

“There are lots of things where you can make an argument for prohibition, but as soon as you do you hand control of that market over to criminals, and you give them a monopoly over the supply and distribution of that substance,” said Bratzer.

“All of a sudden the government doesn’t have any control.  If you look at illegal drugs in our society, it’s a violent, criminal drug dealer who decides what the price ( of drugs ) is going to be, who decides the purity of the drugs, the cutting agents, what his business hours are going to be and where he’s going to operate out of, what kind of advertising methods he’ll use – and we know these drug dealers aren’t asking these kids for ID or encouraging customers to get treatment for addictions.

“So if you regulate and control drugs then at least you can have some parameters that would protect the public.”

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