PROHIBITION DOES NOT WORK

Published in the Lancaster Intelligencer Journal, 9/10/07

To the Editor:

Bob Herbert’s column  “Vegas and the exploitation of  women” correctly
describes the atrocities resulting from  illegal prostitution, but fails to identify
the core cause:  When  we legislate prohibition for something that a large
segment of the public  insists upon, we simply turn the industry over to
criminals at great  cost to society in general and taxpayers in particular.

Consider how many conscientious citizens would almost overnight become  law
breakers were we to prohibit the sale of tobacco products as we  once did
alcohol!

Until the State Lottery was introduced, the numbers racket  flourished.  We
may not approve of people spending money on lottery  tickets, but at least the
results are honest, the  bets are taxed for the  benefit of the elderly, and
we no longer generate and  enrich criminals.

Las Vegas mayor Oscar Goodman understands that legal brothels would  protect
women from pimps and other predators, customer abuse, require periodic  health
examinations and advice, discourage teenage sex workers, provide  normal
employment benefits, and provide a source of revenue for the city rather  than for
criminals.

Similarly marijuana, the most popular and a relatively benign  illegal drug,
should be sold through State Stores.  This would  break the back of the
illegal drug industry, prevent sales to young  people, and provide a huge source of
revenue to treat the  rare cases of addiction as a health problem, not as a
crime.

Prohibition doesn’t work:  It didn’t for alcohol, it won’t for drugs,  and it
never has for prostitution.

Robert E. Field

Editor’s note:  Field is co-chair of  Common Sense for Drug  Policy

One Response

  1. […] PROHIBITION DOES NOT WORK « Bound, Not Gagged “When we legislate prohibition for something that a large segment of the public insists upon, we simply turn the industry over to criminals at great cost to society in general and taxpayers in particular.” (tags: prostitution law sexwork crime) […]

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