Today, Miranda Devine berates Dr Wodak with the usual grab-bag of prohibitionist spin, even as another story in the same edition of the SMH describes yet another death that would not have occurred if illicit drugs were legal and regulated ('Jealousy over drug profit led to killing').
I understand why the police are offended but there is a long and undeniable history of such corruption, more lately in Victoria.
But prohibition causes deeper failures in policing. For example, a vacant house in our street was recently broken into (probably by a drug addict) and the garage doors left open. This made our house and those of all our neighbours exposed as the breach provided easy access to otherwise well secured properties via the back yards.
We called police who did precisely nothing. We called again. Nothing. Finally about 24 hours later we tracked down the owner who came and repaired the broken locks.
The next day, however, I saw a virtual platoon of police walking up our street headed by a sniffer dog. These squads search sometimes hundreds of people in a week but achieve an arrest rate in the order of only a single-figure percentile, according to the NSW Ombudsman's report. This report also documented more than 2,000 searches on public transport over a year which netted no traffickable quantity of any drug.
What a waste of resources, and what a failure to protect the public from actual crime! If we had rung police and said there was marihuana growing in the garage, I bet they would have been there in force.
The true costs of prohibition need to be properly considered in the debate about regulated supply.