Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Police bust another open air drug market in Lawndale


I cam across this story yesterday about a drug bust in North Lawndale
"Police announced the arrest of 19 people involved in a "gang-controlled drug market" late last week.
Along with the arrests, police seized a car and quantities of PCP, heroin and cannabis, according a statement released by the Chicago Police Department.
Police received complaints from community members about drugs sales near 13th Street and South Christiana Avenue in the city's North Lawndale neighborhood. After undercover officers performed a number of narcotics purchases, police were able to identify 20 people involved in the "drug market," according to a statement"
Anyone familiar with the West Side knows the prevalence of open air drug markets. Heroin and crack are openly sold on dozen of street corners and alleys.   Rampant drug sales is one of the biggest complaints residents have.  As someone who leans libertarian I'm conflicted when it comes to drug dealing.  On the one hand I feel that in a free society adults should be allowed to do with their bodies as they choose.  On the other hand, as a resident of the west side I see the destruction it has on individuals, their families, and their communities.  The drug market fuels the gang violence and is probably the biggest contributor to the drive by shootings and quality of life.  For peace loving people living near a drug market, life becomes unbearable.  Drug addicts roam aimlessly like zombies and break into cars and homes searching for money to support their habit.  Gangbangers/dealers overtake an entire block and rule it like ruthless warlords.  It's truly an urban nightmare, not  much different from  some apocalyptic dystopian sci-fi movie.  

This drug market was a few blocks from my home.  Everytime I've driven by it I've witnessed guys slinging dope.  Although I'm happy it was shut down, I realize that nothing more than a Whack-A-Mole.  The police strategy to combat drugs is  nothing more than an endless cat and mouse game.    The reality is that drugs on the west side are a symptom of a  greater problem and until the problem is addressed, the drugs will persist.  In a society where money is king, and  a segment of our populaton  have virtually no chance of earning a decent wage, the lure of easy money is too tempting to resist.  Couple that with mass hopelessness and dyfunction, and it's pretty much guaranteed you will have rampant drug dealing.

Despite this, the decent residents of 13th and Christiana will have a few weeks of normalcy. 

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