The history of drug trafficking in the United States dates back to a twosome of centuries ago when it was practiced in different signifiers. However, drug trafficking as is soon recognized shooting into international prominence in the late sixtiess and has turned into an international flagellum. Drug trafficking afflicts all the members of the society and has extended deductions to the public assistance of the state under besieging. There is a turning feeling among many perceivers, particularly in the United States, that the war on drugs is a ineffectual run that merely costs the American people 1000000s in revenue enhancement to fund jurisprudence enforcement efforts. Indeed, in a 10 twelvemonth period crossing from 1990 to 2000, the United States budgetary allotment for drug control shooting from $ 9.

7 to $ 17.7 ( Ojeda, 2002 ) . In the same period of clip, the figure of agents in the Drug Enforcement Administration was reinforced from about 3190 to 4560 in efforts to control the drug trafficking threat.

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Are these efforts in vain or is the authorities, in coaction with our neighbours and the international community at big, eventually acquiring things under control? These paper efforts to understand the history of drug trafficking, local and international attempts spared by the authorities in contending illicit drug usage, the connexion between drug trafficking and offense and solutions available for the planetary community in battling drug trafficking.

History of drug trafficking

Drug trafficking is by and large defined as ownership of illicit substance ( s ) in specific measures that amount to the substance ( s ) being peddled. The United States legal definition of drug trafficking is more comprehensive and refers to it as a province, federal or local discourtesy to be involved in the exportation, importing, knowing distribution and ownership of illicit ( forgery ) substance ( The United States Sentencing Commission, 2008 ) .

The badness of the penalty emanating from the ownership and premeditated distribution of such banned substances is dependent on factors such as the specificity of the substance, the province or Local County in which the substance has been impounded and the measure of the substance impounded. To understand how the United States Sentencing Commission came up with the punishments for drug sellers, it is imperative to understand the history of drug trafficking.Whereas human existences have ingested assorted kinds of drugs since clip immemorial, it is merely until the nineteenth century that active substances present in these drugs were discovered. The ascertained substances like cocaine and morphia were unregulated two centuries ago and physicians freely prescribed them to patients to bring around a assortment of complaints.

The drugs were delivered to patients in every bit unregulated agencies such as through going tinkers and mail. Morphine, for case, was freely administered to hurt soldiers during the American Civil War giving rise to Opium lairs and accordingly nuts. By the start of the twentieth century, there was an estimated half a million nuts in the United States ( Cherry et al, 2002 ) . Whereas Opium lairs were banned in the late 1800s, the first statute law to modulate substance usage was enacted in 1906 under the Pure Food and Drug Act ( Cherry et al, 2002 ) . Subsequently in 1914 the procurance of cocaine and opiates was regulated by the Harrison Narcotic Act and heroine was wholly prohibited.Since so a figure of drugs related legislative passages have been passed to command the proliferation of opprobrious substances. The most outstanding dictum against substance maltreatment was made by President Richard Nixon in 1968 when he launched the ‘war on drugs ‘ run.

In 1972, the Drug Enforcement Administration was efficaciously created under the Nixon disposal with four bureaus of the federal authorities were combined to battle drugs. Subsequently in the 1980s, President Ronald Reagan revitalized the battle against drugs come ining the state through adjacent states. Under him, a litany of Torahs were instigated that given federal functionaries who were contending drug trafficking the privilege to entree soldierly humanistic disciplines preparation and intelligence, state-of-the-art equipment to drag drug trafficking webs and impound drug sellers. At about the same clip, federal functionaries in coaction with local authoritiess enacted statute laws that permitted the arrogation and keeping of assets obtained from drug money by functionaries. Drug maltreatment consciousness and intervention plans were launched, including the so first lady ‘s ( Nancy Reagan ) “ Just Say No ” campaign, which heartened the young person with media messages to defy enticements to utilize drugs. President Reagan made the battle against illicit drugs a major constituent of the United States ‘ foreign policy ( Chepesiuk, 1999 ) .

The United States did non regress from openly showing the deductions of drug trafficking on its foreign policy when it became involved in high profile assaults on abroad drug barons. Indeed Presidents George H.W Bush ‘s and Bill Clinton ‘s disposals would be involved in cardinal foreign policy steps against states that were perceived to be sympathetic to drug trafficking.

Colombian drug Lord Pablo Emilio Escobar was killed by the Colombian constabulary in December 1993, but the wireless engineering that pinpointed to the exact whereabouts of his concealment was provided by the United States Particular Forces ( Bowden, 2008 ) . President Bill Clinton ‘s foreign policy philosophy of helping foreign authoritiess committed to the war against drug, like Colombia, has been replicated of all time since.

Moral considerations in the battle against drug trafficking

As before mentioned in the debut of the paper, drug trafficking is a flagellum that threatens the cloth of the society. Drug maltreatment can be associated with every sort of anti-social behaviour largely among the immature people. In states where the drug threat has spread to degrees where it can non be successful fought, there is ever the hazard of political instability. The urgency to battle drug trafficking in states where channels of distribution are non good established can therefore non be overemphasized. In analyzing the topic of morality versus battle against drug trafficking, it is important to analyze states where drug trusts have a strong clasp on the grassroots. Understanding the bedraggled conditions of some of these states and the power and influence of drug money can supply an penetration into why it ‘s safer non to legalize drug trafficking.

States such as Colombia and Mexico South of the boundary line present first-class instance surveies in digesting the deductions that engulf a state that is wholly overwhelmed by drug trafficking forces.Colombia has had four chief drug trusts whose influences in parts of the state, if non the full state, were so significant they threatened the stableness authorities ‘s stableness. The Pablo Escobar led Medellin trust that ended in 1993 was so pitiless that its leader was believed to hold been the most pitiless drug baron to hold lived South of the United States boundary line ( Bowden, 2008 ) . The Medellin trust killed 1000s of people, among them senior authorities functionaries, journalists and members of jurisprudence enforcement. The trust was backed up by M-19 guerrillas but besides supported paramilitary cabals ( Shanty & A ; Mishra, 2008 ) . The Colombian authorities needed the support of United States Particular Forces to extinguish Escobar. Other trusts in the Colombian state that have destabilized the state are the Cali Cartel in Southern Colombia led by Rodriguez Orejuela and Jose Santacruz Londono that were celebrated for snatchs and who had important influence in the state ‘s justness system.

They were besides involved in money laundering and political blackwashs. The Norte Del Valle Cartel runing along the North of the state smuggled an surplus of 500 dozenss of cocaine to Mexico and finally to the United States. The trust thrived in corruptness and bought their manner into jurisprudence enforcement of the state and affiliated itself with terrorist organisations like the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia. The last outstanding trust in Colombia was the North Coast Cartel based in Barranquilla metropolis on the Caribbean seashore. Its leader, Alberto OrlandA-z-Gamboa, was regarded as every bit pitiless as Escobar. Gamboa was so powerful that sellers paid him revenue enhancements to monger drugs in the metropolis of Barranquilla.The drug trusts in Mexico are really extended and have been known to stultify authorities services in some parts of the state. Mexico has several powerful drug trusts that include BeltrA?n Leyva Cartel, Gulf Cartel, Los Negros, Los Zetas, La Familia Cartel and others ( Grayson, 2010 ) .

These trusts are rampant in the provinces of Baja California, Nuevo Leon, Chihuahua, Sinaloa, Tamaulipas and Guerrero ( Grayson, 2010 ) . While drug war has slowed down the supply of cocaine, force instigated by these trusts has non proportionally subsided. The state ‘s security state of affairs has deteriorated to conditions that security experts deem to be irreparable. The most baleful signal that the state of affairs is irreparable is the escalation of force and drug-associated homicides, unfastened show of drug advertisement streamers along main roads of major metropoliss and incentive of soldiers and jurisprudence enforcement functionaries into the drug trafficking organisation with the promise of better wage. Some drug trusts execute members and post executing footage on YouTube ( Roig-Franzia, 2007 ) . Mexico ‘s political stableness boundary lines on being a failed province. There are excessively many societal ailments tormenting the state ; street force in sod wars, corruptness among authorities functionaries, inordinate human rights misdemeanors, suppression of media by executing of whistle blowing journalists and blackwash of unspotted politicians ( Archibold & A ; Cave, 2011 ) .

These two states clearly demonstrate the degeneracy that can potentially originate in U.S metropoliss like New York, Los Angeles and Miami if the Drug Enforcement Administration does non reenforce its attempts in battling the maltreatment and proliferation of these banned substances. There are misconceptions in many quarters that criminalisation of drug trailing may endanger morality and safety of the society. Such statements fall level in the face logic if the two scenarios attesting themselves in Colombia and Mexico are analyzed. Let us see these statements. Advocates of decriminalisation of drug war argue that the economic sciences of drug trafficking is the beginning of the job.

Production of cocaine is presently comparatively cheap and they argue that criminalizing it will do cocaine expensive for consumers and really profitable to manufacturers and pedlars. This statement is a half-truth in the sense that while the drug being expensive means the concern is more profitable for sellers, it besides means that possible new users will be discouraged from experimenting and those who can non afford will most likely seek rehabilitation. Statisticss from the Substance Abuse and Health Services Administration indicate that at least a million new users are induced into cocaine every twelvemonth ( “ talk notes for chapter 13 ” ) . With the monetary value of cocaine traveling up, it is possible that the figure of users will travel down and farther cut down the clients of these drug sellers.Advocates of decriminalisation of drug trafficking ignore the socio-economic deductions of drug usage on health care, instruction and economic system. Addiction to banned substances renders nuts economically unproductive and dependent on others for upkeep, makes drug users prone to unhealthy generative behaviours like susceptibleness to STDs and unwanted gestations. What is morally unsloped? Using authorities resources to contend a future state of affairs potentially similar to one attesting itself in Mexico and Colombia, or legalizing drug trafficking and hazard financially authorising drug sellers?

Foreign Policy and Drug Trafficking

Attempts by the United States authorities to appreciably diminish the flow of prohibited substances from abroad into the United States market have bore small fruit ( Archibold & A ; Cave, 2006 ) .

Interestingly, despite all the attempts, the production of illegal drugs has radically increased. A congressional research service study in 2006 indicated that the production of marihuana and opium doubled in the last 10 old ages, with the last decennary besides witnessing a tripling of coca production ( Perl, 2006 ) . It hence makes the planetary plans directed at commanding narcotics an issue of pressing concern. The apparent national resoluteness among political participants to manage the drug trafficking predicament has been plagued by built-in disagreement between the state ‘s anti-drug trafficking policy on one side and federal policies on the other side. The grim execution of drug control contrivances at times hinders the execution of other foreign policies, and creates political capriciousness and disarticulation of economic policies in provinces where the production of narcotics is profoundly ensconced socially and politically.

In these cases, the outlawing of the supply of drugs and United States logistical setup to help the inter-country transportation of goods and services is significantly at odds. The United States international policy on Narcotics demands concerted input by all states affected by drug trafficking. Current statute laws permit the President to deny any U.S.

assistance to states that do non demo counternarcotics responsibilities.Because of the logical grasp of the world that illicit drug trade is a sensitive international issue that provides moneymaking incomes for makers and pedlars of prohibited substances, a better comprehension of the production, transit and supply webs have to be made to battle the planetary felon activities that result from the trade. Whereas the apprehension of the distribution of returns from the gross revenues of these drugs is lacking, it is known that the supply of banned drugs in the state is perpetrated by foreign trusts that possess serious authorization in the streets.

These trusts collect gross from distribution channels and wash the returns in one million millions of dollars to drug top bananas abroad through foreign fiscal establishments. Such returns so authorise these drug barons to vie with constabulary forces and even face the legitimacy of national authoritiess. The 2006 United States congressional study on drug maltreatment in the state indicated that 80 per centum of all banned substances in the state were shipped from abroad and the study besides indicated that practically all the diacetylmorphine and cocaine were imported.The war on drugs run as spelled out by the federal authorities is complex in the sense that is efforts to battle drug abuse through cut downing demand and cutting down supply channels. Reducing demand is chiefly a national policy issue, but cutting down on supply channel is foreign policy predicament. About two tierces of federal budgetary allotments goes to the cutting down of supply channels ( Per, 2006 ) . These budgetary allotments are meant to fund enterprises to overthrow operations of foreign trusts that generate their income by selling banned substances to the users in the American market.

They are besides meant to break up any bing political connexions or links that the trusts enjoy and attaching cargos of the substances or any assets owned by drug barons and their associates. Because of the obvious ground that virtually all these illicit drugs are imported, cardinal interdiction operations are conducted on the United States boundary lines, entry ports, in the Pacific and Atlantic Waterss, across transshipment channels and in production locations.The 2006 United States State Department made public annually study on the Narcotics control policy reveals the bing policy on drug control. In the study, the State Department outlines the overruling end of the planetary drug policy ; decrease of the sum of illegal narcotics traveling into the United States districts. The 2nd and every bit important end is to cut down on the measure of banned substances that are being grown, developed and consumed internationally. The United States planetary drug scheme is executed by a comprehensive attack, which incorporates suppression of narcotic workss, prohibition and enforcement of edicts associating to production and transit of drugs in drug-infested states, cooperation of states inter-woven by drugs trade, countenances or economic support and development of establishments to help the war on drugs.

United States planetary narcotics intercession is led by the Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement ( INL ) , under the State Department.The United States finances enterprises to uproot coca, marihuana and opium in states such as Colombia and Mexico. These enterprises are upheld by governmental groups by manner of diverse plans such as supplying weedkillers that devastate narcotic harvests, availing proficient equipment for crop-dusting of the chemical weedkillers and supplying proficient information aid.

Agency for International Development has been involved in sponsorship of plans that are meant to further economic development and offer utility employment beginnings for citizens of states infested by the drugs trade. Public diplomatic negotiations and Public Affairs wing of the State Department is responsible for transmittal of important information on the land, which highlights the predicament of narcotics trade ( Perl, 2006 ) . The Agency for International Development is besides to a great extent involved in the support of awareness runs on drug related maltreatments in more than 30 states across Latin America, Eastern Europe and Asia.Law enforcement and interdiction is a cardinal constituent of foreign policy, as it concerns the ploy that seeks to help host states, engulfed in the narcotics pass throughing and cargo, in attaching substances meant for the United States market. A closely related scheme is establishing major offenses on underworld powers, immobilising the leading of such packs and adversely break uping their political and socio-economic hierarchy. This assault engrosses that preparation of jurisprudence enforcement of host states and build uping them with superior arms and tactics.

Law enforcement preparations in foreign host states is carried out in surplus of 70 states globally ( Grayson, 2010 ) . The Drugs Enforcement Agency closely monitors the advancement of such states, supplying aid in destabilising major trafficking channels. A important predicament in the jurisprudence enforcement preparation of host states and destabilization of trafficking paths is the challenge of how to break trade with felons easing terrorist groupings and drug trusts. Streamlining operations between anti-terrorism units and anti-narcotics bureaus is potentially a logistical and operational job.As of the present, Afghanistan has a serious control on the diacetylmorphine exported to Europe.

Even though statistics fluctuate over clip, the state has likely exported in surplus of 90 per centum of the full Earth ‘s diacetylmorphine. Afghanistan ‘s doubtful award unhappily unmasks the job that arises when a host state is both a drug infested lair and a terrorist act hub. The United States has spent unusually excessively much on anti-terrorism war and ignored war on diacetylmorphine production in the Arab state. The Afghanistan state of affairs makes the urgency and necessity to unite anti-terrorism attempts with anti-narcotics attempts in just proportions so as non to go forth loose terminals in controling both the two societal immoralities. There are consistent statements in many quarters that the colossal sums of diacetylmorphine produced by the state to a great extent aid the export of terrorist act to western states.

Drugs trafficking and Criminal Law

In the 2007 and 2008, the Drugs Enforcement Agency seized the heaviest marihuana grounds since the late eighties. The District Enforcement Agency seized about 660 dozenss of marihuana in 2008 showing a drastic yet stating addition from the 1s seized merely a twelvemonth ago, 356 dozenss in 2007 ( Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2008 ) .

The United States authorities is extremely critical of the influence of marihuana and the penalties for discourtesy related to drug ownership are clearly rigorous. Even the punishment for those found to be first clip wrongdoer is arguably really castigatory. As such an scrutiny of the charges for the ownership of marihuana reveals the unforgiving punitory codifications for those deemed opprobrious to the drug and by an extension to other banned substances.As argued under ‘moral consideration in the battle against drug trafficking ‘ , decriminalisation of drug trafficking is a unsafe move that might put a destructive case in point. Everybody acknowledges that current attempts to contend drug usage are non presenting the coveted consequences.

But instead than blatantly legalizing drug usage, it would be a safer stake to do the charges for drug trafficking less indulgent and observe the result. A instance where an guiltless individual is charged with confederacy to traffic drugs because they were arrested while in the company of another individual in ownership of drugs is non so uncommon. Such an unsuspicious individual faces terrible punishments ( sometimes a lower limit of 10 old ages ) for offenses they were non cognizant of because the jurisprudence does non let the justice to offer indulgent sentences ( Susan, 1999 ) .

Another instance where an intellectually talented pupil with no old felon record sells less than an ounce of marihuana and is caught and sentenced to function non less than a twelvemonth in federal prison ( Bale, 2011 ) opens our eyes to the asceticism of sentences as soon constituted in condemnable jurisprudence. Weighing up of measures of illegal substance impounded on individuals as a agency of finding the prison sentence to be meted out is grossly unjust. That 4.99 gms of cocaine brings a twelvemonth of prison sentence whereas 5.01 gms of the same gets an wrongdoer a 5 twelvemonth sentence merely shows how skewed the system is. A Massachusetts attorney challenged the tribunal on the forepart ( DelSignore, 2011 ) . If ownership of Marijuana gets an wrongdoer a longer sentence than a convicted raper so the Torahs clearly need to be amended.

A dislocation of the penal codifications for ownership of marihuana is delineated below. Like aforementioned in the old paragraph, ownership of 49 workss or holding a mixture of marihuana weighing 50 kgs fetches a prison sentence of five old ages. This can be substituted or added to a farther mulct of a million dollars. 50-99 workss or similar kgs of the marijuana mixture can ensue in an wrongdoer being jailed for 20 old ages on top of a million dollars deserving of all right or either of the two punishments. There is a possible 5-40 twelvemonth captivity for those found in ownership of marihuana weighing between 100 kgs to 999 kgs ; such individuals could besides have a 2 million dollar mulct on top of their sentence.

Finally, a possible life sentence for those mongering marihuanas weighing in surplus of one ton, or a 10 million dollar mulct or both ( The United States Sentencing Commission, 2008 ) .Despite the federally prescribed punishments for ownership of changing sums of marihuana and other banned substances, there is a general fluctuation in the strong belief rates and intervention of wrongdoer by provinces. Different provinces in the United States observe changing degrees of tightness or lenience when managing instances covering with drug maltreatment. Compared to her neighbours, Connecticut regulations are most rough when covering with wrongdoers, whereas New York is really indulgent. New Hampshire records the highest strong belief rates for drug pedlars and users, and this is apparent from the figure of drug maltreaters in New Hampshire penitentiaries. However, different substances fetch changing tightness in penal codifications ; a factor that implicitly is determined by the grade of deadliness of the drug. Cocaine, diacetylmorphine and cleft are categorized as far more deadly than marihuana and pull harsher sentences one time convicted.

A first-time narcotics wrongdoer ( pedlars of cocaine, diacetylmorphine and cleft for the first clip ) will acquire a seven twelvemonth jail term or a 50,000 thousand dollar mulct or both. A 2nd discourtesy doubles the all right and fetches a 15 twelvemonth gaol sentence. Chronic wrongdoers get 25 old ages behind bars with a one-fourth of a million dollars deserving in all right.Court proceedings, advised by the penal codification disagreements in several provinces, have sought to do the edicts on drug maltreatment more correctional that retributive. The rise of drug tribunals has ensured that judicial projects to specifically manage the drug trafficking threat are streamlined. These judicial establishments, tasked with the important duty of managing instances of maltreatment of banned substances by largely juveniles, have become a resourceful avenue for disciplinary justness instead than agents of requital. Non-violent wrongdoers of the drug trafficking penal codifications are given a good opportunity to deliver themselves instead than be condemned into psychological, emotional and fiscal annihilation under the traditional tribunal system.

The current figure of drug tribunals in the state stands at around 2, 460, and are spread across all the 50 provinces ( Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2008 ) . The drug tribunal theoretical account incorporates adhering legal services ; test, prosecution and probation. It besides incorporates enforcement of probation edicts ( in instances where an wrongdoer is under probation ) , monitoring of the psychological and mental position of the wrongdoer, and intervention of wrongdoers. Treatment fundamentally involves efforts to present non-violent drug users from the concatenation of dependence.Drug tribunal theoretical accounts are designed to work under definite particulars, which incorporate regulated supervising by bench, mandatory substance testing, reenforcing countenances and bettering interventions to help wrongdoers break from the bonds of dependence and finally abandon drug related condemnable activities. The National Association of Drug Courts Professionals ( NADCP ) presented cardinal faculties, which can be customized to suit in the alone scenes of diverse communities across the land ( Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2008 ) .

Integration of intoxicant and other habit-forming substance direction services with justness system is the nucleus faculty of the drug tribunal. The execution of attacks that are non adversarial to non-violent drug users is another nucleus faculty. Early designation of persons in vicinities with a history of drug usage, and who will largely likely be induced into drug usage is a critical constituent service of the drug tribunal.

Juveniles who have non used drugs but have parents, brothers, sisters, cousins and close relations covering in drugs are conscripted into sensitisation plans and offered enlightening stuffs on hazards of drug usage. Monitoring and assessments are carried out to determine the impact of drug tribunal faculties. Statisticss collected from these centres clearly point to drug tribunals being resourceful in availing chances to first-time wrongdoers and hazard groups to alter their attitude ( Ojeda, 2002 ) .The lowered rates of recidivism for drug wrongdoers who have been transformed by drug tribunals is testament to the resourcefulness of the cardinal faculties designed to battle drug usage in the streets. Computed recidivism rates from these correctional instruments speculate that between four and twenty six per centum of juveniles who enrolled for drug tribunals and who were hooked to drugs failed to crush the dependence.

On the impudent side, about half of those who ignored the drug tribunals and who were chronic drug users found themselves back in the bonds of drug maltreatment. Most of these were convicted pedlars and users of drugs from the streets, and their informations was collected from correctional establishments ( Bowden, 2008 ) .The undeniable end of condemnable jurisprudence is to keep order. Drug maltreatment encourages pandemonium and anarchy. All condemnable activities are made up of associated condemnable elements.

The passing out of capital penalty must be such that a flagitious offense does non evade retaliatory justness. Mild penalties are supposed to incite cautiousness or disincentive, incapacitate culprits, rehabilitate inmates and distribute a general aura of damages. These are the dogmas of condemnable justness. Drug trafficking is a comparative discourtesy when the facets of measure and province are discussed.

However, cautiousness must be observed so that penalties for drug related discourtesies are punished proportionally to the offense.


In malice of the assorted reserves forwarded in resistance to United States ‘ war on drugs, the current sentiment robustly supports an intolerance attitude towards drug trafficking. A policy that is intolerant to drug trafficking ensures that the negative effects of drug trafficking in the society are kept in cheque. It is besides true that the policies of states that have been wholly submerged in systemic drug trafficking will be diametral to those of United States where authorities constructions are still integral. United States ‘ foreign policies for covering with such drug-infested states should persistently repeat it ‘s intolerance to drug trafficking, but effort to strike a balance that ensures the stableness of such states is non jeopardized when exporting the war on drugs.

The United States condemnable justness system nevertheless has a responsibility to amend some of the Draconian Torahs that place first clip wrongdoers in severe state of affairss.