Law & Tactics for a Market-Reality Narcotics Policy

23 Pages Posted: 6 Mar 2015  

Mark William Osler

University of St. Thomas - School of Law (Minnesota)

Date Written: 2015

Abstract

The War on Drugs seems to be ending, leading to a crucial question: What comes next? Legalization of narcotics (marijuana aside) is unlikely, and the pursuit of broad incarceration to create deterrence or incapacitation has been largely disavowed. However, drug use continues to be a profound social problem that must be confronted. This article argues for the aggressive use of asset forfeiture to capture cash flow to core sources in order to systemically disrupt narcotics networks. Importantly, such a project would steer police efforts away from capturing people, drugs, or the profits retained by drug dealers and instead target the lifeblood of the narcotics business, which is proceeds flowing back to mass producers, importers, and major wholesalers of drugs. This tactic would address the continuing narcotics problem without mass incarceration or the problems associated with seizing small amounts of profit through forfeitures. Fortunately, the necessary tools are already embedded in existing federal statutes; all that is left to do is to use them wisely in a new and more effective way.

Keywords: war on drugs, legalization of narcotics, narcotics, asset forfeiture, mass incarceration, criminal law

Suggested Citation

Osler, Mark William, Law & Tactics for a Market-Reality Narcotics Policy (2015). Harvard Journal on Legislation, 2015, Forthcoming; U of St. Thomas (Minnesota) Legal Studies Research Paper No. 15-04. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2573973

Mark William Osler (Contact Author)

University of St. Thomas - School of Law (Minnesota) ( email )

MSL 400, 1000 La Salle Avenue
Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 55403-2005
United States
(254) 717-7032 (Phone)

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