Years before the public became interested in the war on drugs, the Comprehensive Crime Act of 1984 gave local police bureaucrats strong incentives to confiscate property allegedly used in drug crimes. As a result, sales from asset seizures enlarged police budgets, police resources were diverted away from fighting violent and property crime, and prison populations swelled with non-violent drug offenders, while illicit drug use continued unabated.

Bruce L. Benson is a Senior Fellow at the Independent Institute and DeVoe L. Moore Professor and Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus of Economics, Florida State University.
David W. Rasmussen is a professor in economics and Director of the Policy Sciences Center at Florida State University.
Bureaucracy and GovernmentDrug WarEconomic History and DevelopmentEconomyFDA and Drug RegulationGovernment and PoliticsLaw and LibertyPolitical HistoryProperty Rights, Land Use, and ZoningTaxes
Other Independent Review articles by Bruce L. Benson
Winter 2014/15 The New Scarlett Letter?: Negotiating the U.S. Labor Market with a Criminal Record
Fall 2014 Let’s Focus on Victim Justice, Not Criminal Justice
Winter 2007/08 The Evolution of Eminent Domain: Market Failure or an Effort to Limit Government Power and Government Failure?
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