Season 1,

Episode 1 – Legalising Drugs – Will It Finally End Violent Crime?

May 15, 2017

Will legalising drugs help put an end to the violent crime associated with it?

In recent months, Ireland has been victim to a bloody gang feud, spilling over into the streets, with violent crimes taken place in broad daylight.

Drug gangs and drug cartels in Ireland and all around the world go hand in hand with violent crime, but are our current laws and approachs to combating them working or adding to the problem?

In this episode, Cormac explores the idea, that by keeping drugs illegal and profitable in the underground economy, we might be adding to the problem and speaks to a number of fascinating people to shed light on that answer.

Featuring in this episode:

Mark Thornton Mark Thornton

Mark Thornton is a Senior Fellow at the Mises Institute and the book review editor of the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics. He has authored seven books and is a frequent guest on national radio shows.

On this episode he speaks to Cormac about his major academic work, The Economics of Prohibition which uses economic data and observations to show how prohibition failed.

He reveals what happened the crime rates, the murder rates and the impact prohibiting a substance can have on user habits.

Twitter: @DrMarkThornton


Corey pegues once a copCorey Pegues

Former crack cocaine dealer turned NYPD police chief Corey Pegues shares his insight knowledge from both sides of the law on the problem with drugs and law enforcement.

He is an award winning author of ‘Once A Cop: The Street, The Law, Two Worlds, One Man’ which chronicles his experience as a former gang member turned decorated police officer and speaks to Cormac about his experience dealing with drugs and gang violence.

Twitter: @cpegues


David McWilliamsDavid Mc Williams

Irish author, broadcaster and economist David McWilliams reveals on this episode why he thinks the Irish political establisment have not seriously engaged with drug reform laws in the country.

Twitter: @Davidmcw




Dr Johnny ConnollyDr. Johnny Connolly

Dr. Johnny Connolly is postdoctoral researcher in the School of Law in the University of Limerick. His research project, co-funded by the Irish Research Council and the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, is titled Developing a comprehensive human rights based response to drug and gang-related crime and community violence in Ireland. 

Dr. Connolly speaks to Cormac about his groundbreaking study into the drugs market in Ireland, where for the first time an evidence based approach was taken to understand what’s really happening around the country in local communities affected by drugs.

He shares his insights into his findings and talks about what should be the next step forwards for Ireland dealing with violence and drug related crime.


What are your thoughts?

What are you thoughts after listening to the episode? Agree or disagree with the people who feature on it? Get involved and drop a comment and let’s continue the discussion here.

P.S – If you liked the episode, please share it with someone else you think might enjoy it. It helps with building this series into something we can continue to produce.



Connolly, J and Donovon A, Illicit Drugs Market in Ireland, Dublin, The Stationary Office, 2014.

European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, EU Drugs Markets Report, Lisbon, Europol, 2016. 

Pegues, C, Once a Cop, The Street, The Law, Two Worlds, One Man. New York, ATRIA Books, 2016.

Thornton, M, The Economics of Prohibition, Salt Lake City, University of Utah Press, 1991.

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, World Drug Report, Vienna, United Nations, 2016. 


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