Drug trafficking is a not a new problem to the United States. It is an issue that is a very important and serious matter that has affected the America for several years. It has been around as far back to 1948. For reference, take for example the following circumstances involving drug trafficking:
There was an electric submarine confiscated before reaching is destination near the Ecuador-Colombia border carrying cocaine.
The Coffee Queen of Columbia has been found to be the ring leader of a drug trafficking ring. She has been using models to smuggle cocaine from border to border because they were able to bypass inspectors at security ports because of their beauty.
There has been a report of a cocaine ring being revealed when and South American janitor found cocaine being smuggled inside prayer books.
On United States soil, at the John F. Kennedy Airport, someone tried to smuggle in cocaine by disguising the drugs to appear as chocolate truffles and within pistachio shells. In total 15 pounds of drugs were found during this drug bust.
Drug trafficking is a major problem that is affecting the lives of the American people. This issue has dated back to 1848, when President Polk signed the Deportation Act. This act was put in force to help prevent the use of dangerous drugs into the United States. The President ordered that the ports to be protected by the import of illegal drugs. Drug trafficking is a major source of drugs being available in the United States.
The issue of drug trafficking is an issue that must be addressed with major importance. Drug trafficking has affected the United States in several ways and will continue to be a major issue if not further addressed. Drug use in the United States has claimed many lives of both young and the old. We must beware of the problem that has arisen from drug trafficking and work on ways to reduce the illegal transport of drugs within the United States.
Drug trafficking is a huge problem that has had a major impact on lives of the American people. This issue is the major supply of drugs within the Unites States. Foreign policies can be described as the ways the way the countries deal with the outside world. These policies are set in place to help protect the United States from harm and to ensure the best interest of our country. Drug trafficking is an issue that harms the well being of America. There are millions of Americans that use illegal drugs each day, spending billions of dollars each year to keep up their drug habits. According to the United States Census, most of the drugs being trafficked into the United States takes routes that travel throughout Mexico both land and water. The Caribbean water routes have also been used to smuggle drugs into the country. As stated before, there have been very clever ways that illegal drugs are being transported into the United States. In order to reduce the number of Americans that are using drugs, the drug trafficking issue must be addressed.
The above image shows and map of major trafficking routes (CIA, 200-).
Causes of drug trafficking may include is the major profit that can obtained from this illegal practice allowing under-developed countries to have a chance to bring in needed sources of income. Another major cause of drug trafficking would include the high demand for these types of drugs
Many underdeveloped countries are cultivators and manufactures of illegal drugs that are transported all over the world. These underdeveloped countries are able to gain large profits. It has been reported that a percentage of the world’s revenue from illegal drug trading is percentage of the world trade revenue. Transporting narcotics can benefit over one hundred percent in profit. In the 1990s, the illegal transportation of cocaine into the United States resulted in profits of over seven-hundred percent profit over the original cost of the drug. Illegal drugs that make into the United States without being confiscated are estimated to result in over sixty billion dollars a year. An area such as Latin America is a key player for the amount of drugs that are located in the United States. Statistics show that in the United States, over eighty percent of the heroin here was smuggled from Latin America. The country of Columbia is a huge supplier of cocaine in the United States. Drug trafficking generates and huge profit and income for those poor farmers who would usually go without an income at all.
The growing demand of illegal drugs is also anther cause of drug trafficking. The usage of illegal drugs is a very detrimental to the lives of both the young and old. Every family in the Unites States have been affected by drugs both directly or indirectly. The usage of drugs in the United Stated is a major problem that can be decreased if drugs such as cocaine and heroin do not reach our borders. The Unites States have many adults and children to drug abuse. As long as the supply of drugs in this world is being sustained, the demand for these drugs is going to remain.
Listed below are some saddening statistics about the usage of drugs in our nation:
In 2008, an estimated 20.1 million Americans aged 12 or older were current (past month) illicit drug users, meaning they had used an illicit drug during the month prior to the survey interview. This estimate represents 8.0 percent of the population aged 12 years old or older. Illicit drugs include marijuana/hashish, cocaine (including crack), heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants, or prescription-type psychotherapeutics used no medically (Services, 2009).
In 2008, an estimated 15.0 percent of past year marijuana users aged 12 or older used marijuana on 300 or more days within the past 12 months. This translates into 3.9 million persons using marijuana on a daily or almost daily basis over a 12-month period. An estimated 35.7 percent (5.4 million) of past month marijuana users aged 12 or older used the drug on 20 or more days in the past month (Services, 2009).
Among persons aged 12 or older, the rate of current illicit drug use in 2008 was 9.8 percent in the West, 7.6 percent in the Midwest, 8.2 percent in the Northeast, and 7.1 percent in the South (Services, 2009).
In 2008, there were 722,000 persons aged 12 or older who had used cocaine for the first time within the past 12 months; this averages to approximately 2,000 initiates per day. This estimate was significantly lower than the number in 2007 (906,000). The annual number of cocaine initiates declined from 1.0 million in 2002 to 722,000 in 2008 (Services, 2009).
If drug trafficking is not ceased or decreased, the United States will continue to have to fight, what looks to be a never ending battle against the war on drugs. Drug trafficking affect our entire society. Drug use in America is a major cause of sickness and death. Drug use is also one of the major ways that the HIV/Aids disease is contracted from person to person by the sharing of needles while using injection drugs such as heroin (a major drug being trafficked into the United States). The precious children, the future of America, are being affected by drugs that are trafficked into our nation. Children are affected even before they are born. Most children who have parents that are drug users are often abused physically and or neglected by their parents. Drug trafficking is a major supplier of drugs in the United States and if the problem is not ceased or decreased the continuance of the use of illegal drugs will increase along with the effects that it is having on our nation.
According to the United States International drug policy in place; there main function is to decrease the amount of illegal substances that are being transported into the United States in regards to manufacturing and the amount being used. There are two know actions that have been used to reduce and halt drug trafficking in the United States, eradication and interdiction (Alliance, 2010).
Eradication is the effort to remove the crops that produce drugs while growing. Eradication has been used throughout several places oversees to halt the production of these drugs. Eradication uses the means of cutting, burning, and chemical pesticides to get rid of illegal drug plants. Chemicals are usually is disbursed from aircraft and sprayed on growing drug crops. A chemical one used to eradicate the coca (cocaine plant) was Fusarium. Advantages of using Eradication would be the elimination of drugs that would usually be trafficked into the United States. There are also some disadvantages to using eradication as means of stopping drug trafficking. The use of eradication in one area may result in an increase in another area. In 1990 when eradication of coca plants in Bolivia and Peru reduced the number of coca plants by fifty-three and sixty-six percent respectfully, the production of coca plant doubled in Columbia. This is also referred to as the balloon effect. Other disadvantages of using this method would be the effects of the lands for the removal of these plants. In Columbia almost 2 million acres of the Amazon rainforest have been cleared. Also, pesticides sprayed on plants have caused health problems to those living near by (Alliance, 2010).
The second method to be discussed would be interdiction. Interdiction is the method of seizing drugs while it is being trafficked to its destination. This method is usually accomplished with the securing and patrolling of our ports and borders. This can take place both from land or air. Between eradication and interdiction, interdiction is an unattainable method to stop drug trafficking. There are over nineteen-thousand miles of water and over three hundred ports of entry. Mexico and Canada borders the United States with almost eight-thousand miles. No matter which governmental agency is securing our borders or ports, there is know definite way to stop all drug trafficking to the United States. Only a small percentage of drugs are able to be interdicted each year (Alliance, 2010).
Drug trafficking is an issue the must be addressed. As noted, eradication and interdiction are both ways that are used to try to decrease the drug trafficking to the United States. Both of these ways have advantages and disadvantages of reducing the problem. These solutions are not affecting the drug traffickers in a way that would make them want to discontinue producing drugs. The implication of harsh asset forfeitures would put a limitation on the profit to one could receive by trafficking drugs out of the country.
Harsher asset forfeitures within these countries trafficking drugs into the United States would make a huge statement about how serious drug trafficking is and the effects that it is having on other areas, including our nation. Placing asset forfeitures within South America and Middle East countries that depend on these profits that drug trafficking produces would certainly get the picture when their profits are seized. The would also include seizing all assets: money and all that is used to transport these drugs out of their countries (Dunn).
The “War of Drugs” is a national interest that started with President Eisenhower in 1954 and the United States have been fighting this war ever since (Suddath, 2009). Drugs in the United States are a crisis that must be fixed. Drug trafficking has allowed millions and millions of drugs into this country. As mentioned above, eradication and interdiction are both methods that are used to help prevent the illegal drugs from entering our borders. Both methods have some impact on this problem. Asset forfeitures would affect the drug trafficker’s with a stronger message. The whole idea behind drug trafficking is to make a profit. Asset forfeitures will reduce the profits made with producing illegal drugs tremendously. It would affect drug traffickers and the countries that are benefiting from these drug trafficking crimes.