All narcotics, inclusive of cocaine, should be decriminalised and legalised.
This from criminologist Prof Maureen Cain, when she spoke on the topic
"Criminogenesis and the War Against Crime" at the UWI Centre for Gender and
Development Studies. Her contribution was from a paper she presented at a
workshop on Women, Crime and Globalisation, Feminist Perspectives for the
New Millennium, in Spain last year.
Prof Cain said that in the fight against the drug trade, western nations
have opted for a demand reduction strategy, in spite of increasingly
persuasive evidence that organised narcotics trading generates both more
and new forms of violence.
Legalisation, she said, would have more certain consequences like, "a
massive drop in price and a movement out of drugs to a more lucrative
trading opportunities by organised crime."
"Organised violence would decline and low level pushers who put pressure on
children and young people would become redundant.
She said as it is narcotics like cocaine is a "valuable commodity".
"It makes money so guns can be bought. I cannot think of any other way to
bring the price down. The only way is to legalise it."
With the legalisation she said the money that is presently spent on crime
control and keeping people in prison can be redirected to other areas.
"Initially there will be an increase in use and cost, but eventually money
will be saved on that health problem of violence. Violence is a health
She said if decriminalised, a person needing a "treatment" can have his
"fix" without having to steal and for those in the upper level of the trade
it will no longer be lucrative.
Asked about the increasing violence among young people, she said it should
not be assumed that the person is right about children becoming more
violent. Prof Cain said before she left Trinidad she was worried since it
was always being said that Caribbean youths were problematic.
"I was worried that by constantly being told so, they would become a problem."
Also the role of women influencing their male partners to commit crime was
raised by a senior police officer .
He said often when there is a concert a number of unemployed women are seen
visiting the beauty parlour getting their hair and nails done, "and they
He said it is possible that men "put down the jobs" to cater to their
Responding to the question of the Gender Studies Department Dr Rhoda
Reddock admitted that there could be a link. She said in this society men
are viewed as economic providers and when his partner looks good, "his
image is upheld."
She said because of polarisation there is a demand for "conspicuous
consumption", and it's the man's duty to provide. She said for those
reasons men who come out of prison are not encouraged to get a woman soon
after their release.
She said unless there is a societal change where women are not viewed as
the dependent and men the providers the situation will be the same.
TRINIDAD: LEGALISE NARCOTICS