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8730 Georgia Ave, Suite 400
Silver Spring, MD 20910


Providing news and analysis on business, economics, and drug prohibition
Issue 3: Spring 2006
Drug prohibition's burden on the automobile industry New business group to address drug policy concerns

The plant closings and employee layoffs at GM and Ford Motor company due to depressed sales disturb every American. BCPS's Eric E. Sterling is even more disturbed by the role of drug prohibition and criminal convictions in reducing the American market, which has in turn limited auto sales in America. In a letter to General Motors Chairman G. Richard Wagoner, Sterling asks Wagoner to consider the economic impact of drug prohibition. Download the PDF version here.

"I am concerned that you may not be paying attention to a factor that seriously burdens your market -- the fact that 12 percent of America’s men have a felony conviction...There is enormous economic impact when a person gets a felony conviction... Even ex-felons who are earning enough to pay car loans, our research reveals, have reduced credit scores, reducing the ability of potential car buyers to obtain car loans, and reducing GM’s market in the United States."

The Criminal Justice Policy Foundation (CJPF) proudly announces the launch of its new project, the Business Council for Prosperity and Safety. BCPS is an alliance of business leaders working to replace drug prohibition with a logical system of regulation that will reduce crime, reduce the harm from drugs, and reduce unnecessary taxes spent on failed drug enforcement. 

CJPF President Eric Sterling represented BCPS at the International Drug Policy Conference in Long Beach, CA, in November 2005. The response from the attendees was enthusiastic and the BCPS booklet, Eleven Ways the War on Drugs is Hurting Your Business, was especially popular.

Mr. Sterling has made a splash at DC area Rotary clubs and Chambers of Commerce this fall as he gave his presentation on the Economic Issues in the War on Drugs. Community members are encouraged to invite Mr. Sterling to visit their organization, business or classroom to share more of the ideas expressed at www.business-council.org.

How does drug prohibition effect your business? Frequently Asked Question

#1: You have fewer customers because the war on drugs reduces purchasing power.

This is the first in a series of columns that develop the ideas presented in Eleven Ways the War on Drugs is Hurting Your Business. Our first point for how the war on drugs is having an adverse effect on businesses and the economy is that businesses lose potential customers because the current drug prohibition system significantly reduces ex-offenders’ purchasing ability.  Why does this happen?  Find out in our full summary...

Q: What is the replacement for drug prohibition?

A: Prohibition, which pushed the enormous commerce in drugs outside the law and relinquished any regulatory control over it, has largely failed.  By bringing drug use within the law, we can take management of drug distribution away from criminals, turning it over to law-abiding and highly respected business people and government employees. Read the full analysis...

Global money laundering A shift in coca policy in Bolivia

A recent study commissioned by the Dutch Finance Ministry estimates that about €18.5 billion ($22.2 billion) is laundered through the Netherlands annually, accounting for approximately 5 percent of the Dutch GDP.  Most of this money, about €17.7 billion ($21.3 billion), is attributed to crimes committed outside the country.  The Financial Times recently reported that $24 billion is laundered through China each year, much of which is "disguised as foreign investment, and...receive tax benefits." Drug prohibition around the world generates billions of dollars that must be laundered before it can re-enter legal markets and the Dutch economy and "inadequately controlled" Chinese financial systems are perfect avenues for this conversion.

The Dutch study claims that money laundering is actually beneficial to the Dutch economy, as it results in economic growth of .1 percent for every €1 billion ($1.18 billion) laundered.  However, the report emphasizes that while money laundering may lead to short-term economic growth, the potential influx of crime to the Netherlands as a result of money laundering is not worth the long-term social and economic costs.

The Morales Government Proposes Domestic and International Changes in Coca Policy
By Kathryn Ledebur
Director of the Andean Information Network

The election of coca grower leader Evo Morales in Bolivia has radically shifted South America’s poorest nation’s national policy toward the coca leaf. Coca leaf has been chewed for centuries in Bolivia and Peru. However the U.N. Single Convention on Narcotics of 1961, reflecting colonialist attitudes, outlawed the practice of coca leaf chewing effective no later than twenty-five years after the Convention went into force (December 13, 1964), namely December 1989 (Article 49.2(e)), and the production, manufacture and trade in coca for such purposes must be outlawed.

Past Bolivian administrations bowed to intense U.S. pressure to carry out aggressive eradication campaigns to eliminate what the U.S., and Bolivian antidrug “Law 1008” stipulated, was an “excess crop” which the U.S. argued was used to manufacture cocaine for illicit consumption in the U.S. and the rest of the world. Read the full article...

Upcoming events

March 29, 6:00pm, New York, NY. "Drug Policy for the Union Man," forum for members of the Local 375 District Council 37. Contact Fred Newton at (917) 208-7188 or frednewton@aol.com for further information.

April 5-8, Santa Barbara, CA. Fourth National Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics. Sponsored by Patients Out of Time.  Visit http://www.medicalcannabis.com for details.  Health care professionals and the medical services industries will find this conference extremely valuable.

April 30-May 4, Vancouver, BC, Canada. "17th International Conference on the Reduction of Drug Related Harm," annual conference of the International Harm Reduction Association. Visit http://www.harmreduction2006.ca for further information. The research and best practices promoted at this annual conference will contribute to significant cost savings.

June 12, New York, NY. Marijuana Policy Project Awards Gala. Enjoy great food, music, comedy, and an awards presentation in one of New York's premiere venues, while celebrating the biggest accomplishments in marijuana policy reform in the past year. Among the many notable guests will be U.S. Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), who will accept MPP's Legislative Leadership award in recognition of his outstanding support in Congress. Email jess@mpp.org for more information. Updates will be coming soon to the MPP website. Capitale, 130 Bowery, New York, NY 10013.


Business Council for Prosperity and Safety
8730 Georgia Ave, Suite 400
Silver Spring, MD 20910
ph: 301.589.6020 | fax: 301.589.5056

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