Michael Gilbert | LEAP | Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

About Michael Gilbert

Retired Corrections Official
Michael Gilbert. Ph.D

Corrections Official

"Prohibition makes no sense as a drug-control policy"

Michael Gilbert
Dr. Michael Gilbert has over 20 years of experience working in corrections and criminal justice as a manager, trainer, consultant, and researcher. That experience tells him, "Prohibition makes no sense as a drug-control policy."

While working in the penal system, Mike met many drug offenders who appeared to have led lives otherwise unblemished by crime. He began to see the harms caused by drug prohibition in a human context. He also encountered an increasing number of law-enforcement, judicial, and corrections officials who privately questioned the prohibition policies they were assigned to enforce. These "drug-warriors" doubted the foundations of the "War on Drugs," as well its effectiveness, morality, and ethics.

Their perspectives motivated Mike to begin his own research. The more he uncovered about the problems related to drug use and the impacts of prohibition, the more he began to recognize our current policy can never reduce drug use or control its associated harms. Prohibition has failed to produce any of its promised goals. Prohibition has not reduced drug use. It has not weakened the purity of those drugs. It has not increased the price of drugs. Nor has it diminished their supply. Instead, prohibition has created a tremendous amount of social harm, increasing the incidence of death, disease, crime and addiction. "The policy of drug prohibition, Mike asserts, "is a relatively recent innovation, driven by political and economic concerns that are unrelated to the effects of drugs themselves." Mike understands that by every measure the "War on Drugs" is a failure, and that it's time to rethink what we are doing.

Mike is currently an associate professor of criminal justice, teaching a wide range of courses at the University of Texas - one of which involves the study of drugs, drug laws, and the association between drugs and crime. He is also actively involved with two justice-related advisory boards in the San Antonio area.

San Antonio, Texas, USA

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