In Baltimore, where there are an estimated 19,000 heroin users, including 9,500 chronic users, annual spending on the drug is estimated at least at $165 million.And yet they're eminently arrestable. Not that that does any good.
When the brothers of one local kingpin were kidnapped, he came up with $500,000 for ransom. When investigators searched a stash house and home of another dealer, they found $464,283 and $74,980, respectively.
But as in the legitimate economy, such wealth is largely limited to those at the top levels of the heroin trade. At the bottom, the so-called "corner boys" who sell on the street can be making as little as minimum wage.
There seems to be an unending supply of mostly young men willing to do this entry-level work, however low-paying, illegal, and dangerous. Among them was Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old whose death in police custody in April triggered protests and rioting in Baltimore and led to criminal charges against six police officers.
It is an all-too-familiar cycle in Baltimore: Those with little education and thus few job prospects find their way to the lowest rungs of the drug trade, touting on the corner or serving as lookouts. At some point, they are arrested and end up with a criminal record that makes them even less attractive to the legitimate economy. And so they return to drug dealing, often in the neighborhoods they live in.
"They're basically unemployable."
December 21, 2015
Whose fault is this?
A good piece of journalism in the Sun:
Labels: war on drugs