Violent crime: a function of drug use or drug enforcement?
An assumption of many national drug control policies is the existence of a causal relationship between illegal drug use and violent crime. However, robust empirical findings supporting this relationship are scarce. Alternatively, there is extensive research, much of it in economics, which suggests that there may actually be a stronger causal relationship between drug enforcement/control/prohibition and violent crime than drug use and criminal violence. The paper presents some of the research pertaining to the relationship between illegal drugs and violent crime. In addition, a violent crime model is empirically tested using data from 24 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) in the United States to determine the nature and strength of this relationship.