Home > Drug War, South Dakota > South Dakota releases 2014 crime data, continues push for failed War on Drugs

South Dakota releases 2014 crime data, continues push for failed War on Drugs

June 16, 2014

nicubunu_RPG_map_symbols_Jailhouse_2Today South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley released the DCI 2013 Crime in South Dakota publication. There are some good downward trends in the numbers presented. But there is one troubling trend that continues and is highlighted by Jackley’s Press Release:

“The criminal trends identify the need to further strengthen crime prevention and enforcement efforts in the area of drug and alcohol addiction and solicitation of minors for sex cases.”

Add Jackley’s comment from above to this sentence from his summary published with the 2013 data:

Arrests for drug offenses increased 19.8%. In 2013, 5,493 total drug arrests were reported compared to 4,584 reported in 2012.

So, with drug-related arrests going up 19.8% Jackley is saying efforts have to be increased. This is unbelievable.

Before going on I think it is worth noting that I am not advocating for or against drug use. Whether it be for recreational, medical, or other uses doesn’t really matter. I personally do not like mind-altering drugs (aside from my Marlboros that is). This post is NOT about advocating for drug use; rather this post is about the failed War on Drugs that crusaders such as Jackley naively continue to fight.

Here is the definition of drug crimes from the DCI Publication. These drug-related offenses are considered “Group A” in this publication. Group A is apparently the really bad crimes.

Drug/Narcotic Offenses (35A – 35B) – The violation of laws prohibiting the production, distribution, and/or use of certain controlled substances and the equipment or devices utilized in their preparation and/or use.

Drug/Narcotic Violations (35A) – The unlawful cultivation, manufacture, distribution, sale, purchase, use, possession, transportation, or importation of any controlled drug or narcotic substance.

Drug Equipment Violations (35B) – The unlawful manufacture, sale, purchase, possession, or transportation of equipment or devices utilized in preparing and/or using drugs or narcotics

One thing to take note of is that drug crimes are listed in the publication as “crimes against society”. That is the way social interventionists (from all political persuasions) are able to justify creating a crime when there is no actual victim. ‘Society’ as a concept is largely ambiguous. Technically anything that social interventionist don’t like could be called a ‘crime against society’.

So how many drug-related crimes against society were there in South Dakota in 2013? Here are the actual numbers from the Pub:

35A – Drug/Narcotic Violations: 5,261

35B – Drug Equipment Violations: 3,978

Total Drug Violations: 9,239


Out of a total of 41,798 “Group A” violations, 9,293 of them were drug-related offenses. Yet most of these drug-related crimes had no actual victim. DCI’s own numbers can be used to show drug use is not creating a wave of other crimes. According to the numbers there were a total of 7,755 Group A crimes that involved people using drugs. 6,943 of those were involving drug related offenses in category 35A or 35B. That leaves 812 Group A crimes (out of a total of 41,798) where drug use was involved. These 812 crimes account for less than two percent of actual crimes where there are victims. It should also be noted even this small number is somewhat inflated. This is a disclaimer in the sections about controlled substance used in crimes:

Up to three entries can be made per each incident.

So, even the 812 number may be inflated because multiple crimes have been committed at the same time. We can’t know how inflated this number is however since they don’t report that.

Looking at the numbers again there are a couple of things that are apparent. First, ending the War on Drugs would free up valuable law enforcement resources for true crimes. In 2013 drug-related crimes accounted for 22% of Group A arrests, yet drug use accounted for less than 2% of non-Drug-related Group A crimes. The Drug Warrior’s mantra that drug use creates waves of crime simply is not backed up by the States own numbers. Actually all these numbers do is show that a lot of people are arrested for a ‘crime against society’ in which victims rarely exist.

Jackley needs to look at these numbers and realize he is doing nothing with the continued push for the War on Drugs but creating more criminals. Yet he somehow oddly seems proud to state he has increased drug arrests by almost 20% over enforcement from the previous year. Too bad a good Independent or Democrat candidate couldn’t be found to run against Jackley this year. It is time for the AG’s office to be led by someone who cares about the people of South Dakota; instead of someone who appears to love putting the people of South Dakota in jail for a crime with no victim.

  1. Merlyn Schutterle
    June 16, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    I don’t take drugs either. I agree with everything you had to say about this. It is just plain common sense. Any thinking person should be able to understand it. We don’t have any in our legislatures, state or federal.

  1. June 24, 2014 at 5:29 pm
  2. July 14, 2014 at 4:00 pm
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