The case of the disappearing drug money…

As with any major funding in government it is hard to know how much is the right amount. Even if you give the right amount, you do not know if the group that you are sending it to are using it wisely. This story from The Economist:

“In 2005 the Montgomery County district attorney’s office held a party at the county fair in east Texas/ They had beer, liquor and a margarita machine. The district attorney, Mike McDougal, at first denied that this had been paid for by drug money. He acknowledged that his office had a margarita machine at the fair. In fact, he said, they won first prize for best margarita. But he insisted they came by it fair and square. In any case, he pointed out the county’s drug fund was at his discretion. Under Texas forfeiture law, counties can keep most of the money and property they rustle up.”

This in itself can create perverse incentives for those who are police officers and know they can keep property. Where are the checks and balances? When will the drug war not be full of corrupt officials? What should we do? Milton Friedman among many others believe that the drug war would be easier if drugs were legalized. It is unlikely that this will ever happen. So what should we do in the meantime?


Published in: on August 25, 2008 at 11:17 pm  Comments (1)  
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