De Facto Drug Decriminalization Does Not Lead to More Violent Crime in San Francisco

Proponents of the drug war often suggest that if we decriminalize or legalize drugs then crime will increase.  Drug arrests in San Francisco have dropped sharply in the last two years but there has been little change in the rate of violent crime. The San Francisco Examiner reports:

A huge drop in narcotics arrests citywide does not seem to have affected the overall rate of violent crime in The City, which has some observers calling into question traditional police philosophy linking drug activity and violence.

Police statistics show a 25 percent drop in drug arrests this year over last, and a 6 percent decrease in overall violent crime. Drug arrests in 2010 were 39 percent off 2009 totals, while violent crime dropped 3 percent that year.

While the numbers remain open to interpretation, Sheriff Michael Hennessey said he believes police and prosecutors may have changed their drug enforcement priorities for the better.




Paula Parmeley Carter

Paula is a Staff Writer at CopBlock. She advocates ending the monopoly on policing and protection services. When not writing at CopBlock she enjoys being a wife and mother, reading and drinking good beer.