In big cities students of schools and colleges are targeted by drug peddlers and dealers. The underworld targets the young children for distributing and selling of the drug of various kinds. The growing menace of drugs abuse is worrisome among parents, children and doctors. An increasing number of children are addicted to mephedrone, cannabis and tobacco. Doctors are frightened at the growing numbers each day. When any product or service is made illegal its consumption continues to grow.
From the year 1920 to 1933, in America alcohol was prohibited nationally, which was also called “noble experiment”. The prohibition was undertaken to reduce crime and corruption to solve many social problems such as reduce the tax burden created by prisons and poorhouses, and improve health and hygiene. Though the prohibition continued for over a decade, alcohol consumption continued in full force, but the type of alcohol consumed changed dramatically. Softer drinks, such as beer, become uncommon while highly potent liquors became the norm. Among the most infamous was known as “White Lightning Moonshine”, which was known to make people go blind. Moonshine was originally a slang term for high-proofed distilled spirits which were usually produced illicitly, without government authorization. When alcohol prohibition ended, ahead of its legalization, liquors like White Lightning got replaced once again by safer and less potent drinks such as beer.
For many promoters of prohibition, this served as rationale that though making alcohol consumption a crime was a worthy cause, it created bigger demand it. This phenomenon is known as the Iron Law of Prohibition, which points that when prohibition laws are increasingly enforced on any product or service, the demand of the material increases.
If you look at this with a little thought, this fact makes perfect sense. When a substance is prohibited, it gets smuggled into the country, thus making the most scrupulous form of it the most economical. Once it’s inside the country, it can then be diluted in various forms, such as the cutting of heroin or the mixing of liquors. The iron law of prohibition is a term coined by Richard Cowan in 1986 which points that as law enforcement becomes more intense, the potency of prohibited substances increases. Cowan put it this way: “the harder the enforcement, the harder the drugs.”
Similarly, anti-prostitution increases human trafficking more: If government of a nation really want to prevent abuse of sex workers, they need to legalize the trade and bring it into the open. By making it anti-establishment, we don’t realise that it causes more harm to the innocent and underprivileged people who need to be saved from human trafficking.
Iron Law of Prohibition boosts black market or underground economy. Black market carries on all clandestine activities or transactions. The Drug War of the 1980’s in America saw the rise of meth, crack cocaine, and high-potency marijuana as alternatives. The desire Of President Nixon in 1971 to protect society from drug use led to the misguided policies of the Drug War that resulted in the explosion of drugs much more dangerous than the ones used to justify the Drug War initially.
There are many reasons to legalize the recreational use of marijuana and cocaine. While that statement may create kneejerk revulsion upon reading it, consider it for just a moment. Meth and crack cocaine use, prescription drug abuse, all these would not be the pervasive social afflictions they have become were it not for the fact that safer drugs have been outlawed, and that users, sellers, and producers vigorously prosecuted. The crime wave that has emerged to provide drugs to the public, identical in method and violence to alcohol prohibition, would not exist were it not for the Drug War.
Another example: The Indian state of Gujarat has prohibited alcohol since its formation in 1960, and the failure of the state in curbing alcohol consumption despite the prohibition is perhaps is highly phony, because network of bootleggers ensure timely delivery of booze, just like pizza on order. Liquor flows in from the neighbouring states, and brings with it corruption money that fills the black coffers of the road transport, excise, police and other government officials. Between 1999 and 2009, approximately 80,000 prohibition cases were registered of which only 9% were convicted. Moreover, estimates suggest that Gujarat loses INR 10,000 crores annually in enforcement and loss of tax due to the prohibition.
Another example is prohibition on using cell phones. Cell phones are a big part of our everyday life, with a constant roll of text messages, Twitter, WhatApp updates, email, and phone calls our mobile device is rather distracting. So cell phones are illegal to be used while driving, flying, in examination halls, in class rooms and at times in even in work place. No matter whatever rules say about banning cell phones, people find innovative ways to use them anyways. In America and many countries in world law of banning citizens from owning guns, the results are not good. The banning has given rise to homicides, suicides and murders.
Why does this happen? Every day in some part of world some outrage takes place for a cause of ban or prohibition. Recently in India, bans on beef and cow vigilantism have disturbed the economy and social order. The same Constitution which provides for cow protection as a directive principle also provides, by way of fundamental rights, the right to life and liberty which also includes the right to livelihood. And the fact is uninterrupted murders and attacks by cow vigilantes have adversely affected the dairy, leather and allied businesses which employ millions of people, besides disrupting social harmony.
When Supreme Court of India banned sale of liquor near highways, the order did not serve any purpose other than imposing another ban. States and civic authorities found their way to evade it. For instance, the government of Odisha renamed state highways passing through cities and towns as ‘urban roads’. Since these roads are no more highways, liquor sale goes on as usual!
Its simple logic: a nation cannot be built on bans. The society does not give heed to bans, because bans are not democratic. People like to make rational and logical choices of their own. Iron Law of Prohibition has its plentiful limitations.