15 April 2002
WAR ON DRUGS SHOULD FOCUS ON TRAFFICKERS
The War on Drugs is a never-ending struggle that appears to have no end. The problem with fighting the supply and demand sides of the war is that the suppliers often do not appear to play by the same rules of engagement. In order for the United States to successfully battle the War on Drugs, the focus should be centered on activities within American borders.
When the United States declared the War on Drugs, there was an assumption that other nations wanted to fight the war along side. The fact is that there are many nations that endorse the drug trade and seek to gain profit off of the illicit business. The Andean nations of Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia are at the center of the drug trade, and these countries are not willing to give up a billion-dollar industry in order to make the United States a better place to live (Clawson, 30). The cropping of the coca leaves is not illegal in these countries, and it is essentially the center of political, economical, and social structure within the Andean region. The damage is not being done to this area either, the majority within the region use the coca leaves only as a product for resale or for social interaction.
The main focus for the United States should be focused on the drug trafficker, because it has become obviously impossible to control the actions of what other countries produce. The United States does have the power to control what enters the borders, and a stronger emphasis should be placed on border patrols in order to keep the supplies from entering the streets of America.
The drug traffickers are the key players in the business of drug trade. There are many techniques that are utilized in order to get the illegal substances into the United States, and the problem is that a lot of these schemes appear to be successful. With the drugs on the streets, it is hard to deny that there is not a failure within the system. These types of methods are what need to be identified and studied in order to find new ways to counter the trafficking process.
The user or the dealer on the street should be offered clemency or reduced sentences in exchange for helping to fight the War on Drugs, and with the help of informants, the trail will eventually lead back to main offender, the trafficker. The trafficker is and should be the main focus of efforts, because the United States already knows where the drugs are produced and manufactured, the real criminal is the person that brings the drugs into the streets of America for distribution.
The prisons within the United States already presents a treasure chest of information against the War on Drugs. The federal prison system houses 59.6% inmates that were convicted on drug offenses (Schaffer). The current law enforcement procedures already investigate and question as many of these offenders that will cooperate, but the intelligence that is gained from these types of examinations is not shared with other offices.
In order for the drug enforcement offices and border patrols of America to correctly react to the crime of drug trafficking, there must be a spread of education about the methods that these criminals use to successfully achieve the goal of stopping the transportation of drugs into the United States.
There is no way to keep other countries from growing and manufacturing illegal substances, and efforts to stop them have proven fruitless. The main concern for the government should be to protect the United States first. Efforts to slow down the drug trade in other countries should not be abandoned, but the United States should focus more concern on keeping illegal drugs from entering the streets of America. In order fight the War on Drugs; ground zero must be shifted to the front lines of American soil.
Clawson, Patrick. THE ANDEAN COCAINE INDUSTRY. New York,
NY: Saint Martins, 1996.
Schaffer, Claudia. BASIC FACTS ABOUT THE WAR ON DRUGS.