On Thursday the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department arrested two men on suspicion of running a marijuana growing operation in the San Gabriel Valley. Deputies from the Department’s “Asian Gang Team” seized some 440 plants and 150 pounds of dried cannabis – along with weapons and hydroponic equipment – from a condo in San Gabriel and a commercial building in Alhambra.
The operation was being run by a man named Joseph Hsu, a suspected member of a Chinese gang known as Wah Ching. Of course, without marijuana prohibition, this operation doesn’t exist, and a violent Chinese street gang wouldn’t be reaping the profits.
Prohibition causes a restriction in supply, raising prices, making it more profitable for gangs to enter the market. And these gangs will often use any means necessary to protect those profits. Without the massive profits to draw them in, these gangs aren’t going to bother with marijuana growing.
True, they will move onto to other drugs and illicit products; that’s why prohibition never works, no matter what it is you ban. Banning something just makes sure that violent criminals can make a lot of money off of it.
But at least the Sheriff’s Department gets some publicity for making a slight dent in the cannabis black market; a dent that is already filled by someone else who was drawn in by prohibition profits. The police create their own job security.