South Africa: Drug Prohibition Always Fails

Over the past month in Cape Town, South Africa, countless people have referenced the prevalence of violence, the impact of gangsterism, and their own distrust of police employees, but very few have mentioned drug policy* as the lynchpin between the three. Yet if one is serious about bringing-about a better reality here on the ground, it is a conversation that must be had.

Merely dictating that a good or service in demand is prohibited will not cease its supply but will drive it underground, which is sure to be accompanied by a host of negative unintended consequences. Violence, to control distribution or to settle disputes, is perhaps the most visible. Corruption, of those tasked with enforcing the proclaimed prohibition, is commonplace.

Also, unless there are two classes of people (masters and slaves) it’s important to recognize that such claims – a stranger acting as if s/he and their friends have the right to tell you how you can allocate your scarce resources and what you can do with your own body – are without merit.

Quite simply, prohibition doesn’t work.




Pete Eyre

Pete Eyre is co-founder of As an advocate of peaceful, consensual interactions, he seeks to inject a message of complete liberty and self-government into the conversation of police accountability. Eyre went to undergrad and grad school for law enforcement, then spent time in DC as an intern at the Cato Institute, a Koch Fellow at the Drug Policy Alliance, Directer of Campus Outreach at the Institute for Humane Studies, Crasher-in-Chief at Bureaucrash, and as a contractor for the Future of Freedom Foundation. In 2009 he left the belly of the beast and hit the road with Motorhome Diaries and later co-founded Liberty On Tour. He spent time in New Hampshire home, and was involved with Free Keene, the Free State Project and The Daily Decrypt.