A new approach to criminalisation could end Cape Town’s drug wars

Drug market regulation is a pragmatic position that involves rolling out strict government control into a marketplace where currently there is none
The Conversation (US)
Tuesday, August 27, 2019

sa stop gang warIt’s not known exactly how many gangs there are in South Africa’s Western Cape province, but gang membership has been estimated at more than 100 000. Almost all these gangs, most concentrated in Cape Town, make the bulk of their money from procuring and selling illegal leisure drugs such as tik (crystal methamphetimine), heroin, nyaope (a street drug that mixes several illicit drugs) and dagga (marijuana). Herein lies the conundrum: the criminalisation of possession and use of drugs creates conditions that are conducive for organised crime. This is why understanding the use, misuse and trade of illegal drugs is central to any intervention involving gangs and any policy relating to them.