Raphael Perl (right), international terrorism and narcotics specialist with the US Library of Congress, gestures, while American Chamber of Commerce of Jamaica (AMCHAM) president, Anthony Jenkinson, looks on. Mr. Perl was speaking at the AMCHAM 'Business Round-table Breakfast' at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in St. Andrew, yesterday. - Norman Grindley /Staff Photographer
DECRIMINALISING NARCOTICS could cut crime, says Raphael Perl, international terrorism and narcotics specialist with the United States Library of Congress.
But there is a trade-off that would have to be made, Mr. Perl said, and the use of narcotics would increase.
"It is very clear that there is a direct correlation between decriminalisation and legalisation, and levels of addiction and drug use in a society," Mr. Perl said. For, "the societies that have experimented in this area, drug use goes up... but crime goes down."
Mr. Perl was speaking at the American Chamber of Commerce of Jamaica 'Business Round-table Breakfast' at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel yesterday. He was the guest speaker at the function.
"Do we want to make a trade-off in our society, where we have more drug use and less crime?" Mr. Perl asked the business community representatives attending the function.
"I don't like legalisation," Mr. Perl said. But, "I think that this is a decision that each society has to make for itself."
The use of narcotics is an issue which "scares me," Mr. Perl said. His concern, he said, was based on the technological advances which will make it possible to create even more addictive drugs.
"The possibility exists down the road, that we might have a synthetic drug that I slip into your drink and you are my slave for life," he said.