Record Drug Seizures are not an Indication of Drug War Success

Scott Morgan rightly notes: Police Shouldn’t Be Proud of Seizing Bigger Marijuana Crops Every Year (It’s a Sign of Failure)

The heart of the matter:

It is a sign of progress, yes, but not on the part of the vast drug war armies dedicated to stopping people from growing staggering amounts of marijuana all over the northern hemisphere. The only discernible progress any reasonable person could observe here would have to be credited to those whose mission it is to overwhelm law-enforcement with an ever-intensifying cultivation campaign that promises to make them rich regardless of whatever percentage happens to get hauled off by the cops.

This is a point I have been making for years, although usually in the context of cocaine seizures. Despite the fact that drug warriors constanly tout their newest record seizures, there is always a remarkable lack of awareness that continual, escalating record seizures are simply evidence that more and larger shipments are being produced.

Further, if record seizures occur in the context of continued supply on the streets, does that not simply indicate that law enforcement is not seiIng enough of the product to actully matter in the overall drug market?

FILED UNDER: US Politics, , ,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. mantis says:

    There are no indications of success in the drug war. It has been, and continues to be, a failure on every level.

  2. anjin-san says:

    The drug war is working. The flow of taxpayer dollars to fund it is never ending. That is the success, and that is the point of the whole thing.