Drug Markets and the Local Economy

"Although the image contained within such quotes is of an external threat associated with the drugs trade, in fact, as May and colleagues were able to show, some of the drug-dealing markets were very much part of the local community – involving people who had lived within the local community for many years. Other drug markets in other areas involved individuals who had no connection to the wider community and whose activities were seen as threatening the local area. While May and colleagues point to the various negative impacts of local drug-selling activities on the wider community, they also point out that such markets could be seen as having a positive impact on the surrounding community. For example, the presence of a drug-dealing market could mean the influx of substantial cash that would otherwise not occur as local drug dealers spent the money earned from their drug-selling activities. Similarly, it was claimed by some of those interviewed that the presence of a drug-dealing market could result in lower levels of other crimes as the drug sellers themselves sought to reduce the activities of other criminals that might attract unwanted police attention. Finally, the presence of a drug market could sustain a thriving market in stolen goods being transacted as a way of supporting a drug habit, one of the results of this being that local people had access to a level of consumer products at reduced prices that they might otherwise never be able to afford."


Lloyd, Charlie and McKeganey, Neil, "Drugs Research: An overview of evidence and questions for policy," Joseph Rowntree Foundation (London, United Kingdom: June 2010), p. 43.