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Canadian Group Says Drug Enforcement Increases Violent Crime

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A new report from the British Columbia Center for Excellence in HIV/AIDS suggests that  law-enforcement crackdowns on drug gangs could backfire by creating instability that leads to violence, the National Post reported March 23.

Report authors drew their conclusions from a review of previously published studies from the U.S. and Canada. Lead researcher Evan Wood said the findings show that the law-enforcement oriented drug policy being pursued by Canada's Conservative government is doomed to failure. “When you destabilize the market by taking key players out, violence will ensue,” said Wood.

Wood suggested that the government instead legalize and tightly regulate drugs.

Larry Molyneaux, head of the Ontario Police Association, disagreed with the report's conclusions. “When you start to take down and arrest people who are involved in the drug war, I see the opposite,” he said. “What in fact you do is, you diminish crime because these people have been taken out of their element.”

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