CHICAGO (CBS) — At least a dozen community and social-action groups sponsored a rally at the Thompson Center on Friday calling for an end to the U.S. “war on drugs.”

It marks the 40th anniversary of the declaration by then-President Richard Nixon.

WBBM Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports, Chicago’s Police Supt. Garry McCarthy says they have a point.

“Law enforcement has gotten this wrong,” he said. “Narcotics use is a criminalized social issue. It causes crime. Drug dealers get into disputes over turf.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780 Political Editor Craig Dellimore Reports

“It’s about the money. Mafia guys whack each other over concrete businesses. It’s not about the concrete, it’s about the money.”

Simply busting a street corner drug dealer is the wrong approach, he said.

“If we just lock up a drug dealer, we may be actually causing violence. Because there’s an established market were somebody is going to go, seeking drugs. That’s demand. As long as that demand exists at a location, that supply will show back up.”

He says police need to follow up to reduce the demand, and social services needs to provide treatment for addicts and rebuild communities–not just throw people in jail.

McCarthy is Newsradio 780’s guest on “At Issue” this Sunday at 9:30 a.m. and 9:30 p.m.

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