‘Criminality’ is substantially tied to participation in the ‘informal’ economy by which those excluded from the formal economy survive. As evidenced by current widespread use of opioids prescribed through official channels and the ready availability of cheap, plentiful alcohol, the powers-that-be have no problem with socially destructive drug usage as long as the drugs are distributed through official channels so that profits can be made. It is other than paradoxical that the public health interest put forward to explain drug law enforcement finds its most violent expression through repressive policing in poor neighborhoods. Were concern for public health the motivation the police would be helping the poor find jobs, get needed health care and assuring the availability of nutritious food.--BU
Brilliantly spelled out.