Police crackdowns may encourage drug use

TOUGH policing of the illegal drugs market may have the perverse effect of making drugs more affordable and thereby encouraging people to use them, according to a new model of the dynamics of this market.

Its creators, a team of economists led by Manolis Galenianos of Pennsylvania State University in University Park, stop short of calling for police to soften their approach because this would also have adverse consequences. But for law enforcers whose aim is to discourage drug use, the findings hint that tough policing alone may not be the most effective way to tackle the problem.

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