Blogs > Liberty and Power > How to Reduce Sports Associated Violence

Jun 12, 2004 11:47 pm

How to Reduce Sports Associated Violence

Late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel recently got himself in trouble by making a joke that suggested that if the Detroit Pistons won the NBA title there would be violent rioting in that city, saying it just was not worth it. This led to his show being temporarily pulled from the Detroit affiliate and an apology by him. However, like all good satire there is a strong grain of truth in what Kimmel said. Recent history is replete with examples of violence following the winning of various championships in a number of cities.

I believe that the police in Detroit and Los Angles should take note of how the Portuguese police are planning to avert possible violence in connection with a soccer match between England and France, which will take place in Lisbon. Law enforcement plans to crack down on alcohol use with officers at the stadium giving fans who seem drunken breath tests. Those who fail may be refused entry.

There also is a second element in the Portuguese plan. The British newspaper The Sun reports that fans who are seen smoking marijuana “have been assured they will not be arrested, cautioned — or even have their drugs confiscated.” Lisbon officials are implementing this strategy because ”Dutch police used a similar policy in Euro 2000 and England’s hooligan element were too stoned to fight.”

This story nicely illustrates the point that one of the prices we pay in this country for marijuana prohibition is increased violence both public and private. You cannot be anti-marijuana without being pro-alcohol.

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