To the People

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or TO THE PEOPLE.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I Could Think of Worse Ways to Wage the War on Drugs

No parking here has helped drive down business in one of the largest open-air drug markets in city...but drug dealers aren't the only business being hurt:
Every day, Derek Kang used to chase 20 to 30 people he suspected of dealing drugs out of the vestibule of Sweet Sixteen, a women's clothing store he manages on Pennsylvania Avenue.

Now it's down to just one or two, he said, after Baltimore police began a new strategy to eradicate one of the city's largest open-air drug markets: Take away the parking.

Business has been down since late fall, when orange "No Stopping" bags first appeared on the meters lining four blocks of the West Baltimore commercial district, and Kang and other merchants along the strip have felt the impact on their bottom line. But Baltimore police officials said that calls for service are also down there and that they are monitoring the effects of the initiative to determine whether it might be applied elsewhere.[...]

The city's strategy is an example of what is called "situational crime prevention" - changing the environment to deter criminal activity, said Jean M. McGloin, a criminologist at the University of Maryland.
Interesting. Of course what usually ends up happening in situations like this is that the drug dealers merely get pushed to another area, it's not as though people want to stop getting high in Baltimore. But as far as tactics go in the War on Drugs, we could do a lot worse.

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