Research Paper: Effects of Drugs Coming Over the Border on Law Enforcement

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¶ … Drug Trafficking Across the Border on Law Enforcement

Over the last several decades, the amount of drugs smuggled across the American borders has rapidly increased. One reason this has occurred is the high level of profitability the American illegal drug market offers. Increased competition in Mexico, amongst Mexico and Columbian drug cartels has resulted, as they both compete for control of the lucrative East and West coast American markets. Demand, profitability and competition have all been factors in the dramatic increases in the quantity of illegal drugs coming across the borders, including: Crystal Meth, Cocaine, Marijuana, Ecstasy and Heroine ("Drug Trafficking," 2004). To better understand this problem, this paper presents drug trafficking and prevention statistics. This is followed by an overview of the war on drugs and the challenges law enforcement faces. Lastly, a proposal for a new strategy is given that involves a two-pronged approach of not only the current prevention strategies aimed at the supply side of the drug trafficking equation, but the demand side as well, in the form of increased drug treatment as an effective tool in the war on drugs.

Drug Trafficking and Prevention Statistics:

The war against drug trafficking across American borders has cost the United States a lot in tax dollars, law enforcement endeavors and lives. However, despite these efforts and costs, little progress has been made in curtailing this illegal activity. Data indicates that the anti-narcotic budget in the United States jumped from $9.7 billion in the 1990s to approximately $18 billion by 2000. Moreover, the number of Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) field agents has increased from 3,191 in 1990 to 4,561 in 2000. Despite these increases in DEA agents, the number of drug abusers in the United States has risen from 5.8% of the population in the early 1990s, to approximately 6.7% in 1998. Approximately 15 million Americans were abusing drugs by 1999. Among these 15 million, approximately 200,000 were using heroin, three times the number of heroin users in 1993, according to Massing (2000). The increased efforts of law enforcement agencies against drug trafficking has still resulted in a rise in the numbers of drug abusers in the United States, over the last ten years.

The War on Drugs:

In 1968, President Richard Nixon coined the term "war on drugs" to signify the United States' efforts against drug manufacturers, distributors and its consumers. Nixon brought together four agencies, in 1974, to found the DEA. In the 1980s, President Ronald Reagan renewed the war on narcotics and amplified the endeavors of the DEA, in an effort to curtail drug trafficking across the U.S. borders (Hamowy, 1987). Reagan championed a chain of regulations that permitted federal officials access to military intelligence, training, and technology to track and seize drug traffickers. While this was taking place, the federal and local governments approved laws that permitted the impounding of land and assets confiscated by officials during drug raids. During the Reagan administration, several drug therapy programs and education programs were started. This included Nancy Reagan's "Just Say No" campaign, which educated kids via media messages and slogans in ways to refuse drugs (Hamowy, 1987).

Enhancements in law enforcement endeavors aimed to reduce drug trafficking by enforcing increasingly strict legal sanctions for convicted drug cartels. However, the sheer size of the revenues generates from drug businesses often negated the threat of penalty.

The global drug operation is estimated to produce $300 billion to $400 billion in revenues, each year. This access to such a vast quantity of revenue not only provides strong motivations to deal drugs, but also often results in the drug traffickers having access to the latest, state-of-the-art technologies. This allows traffickers access to more advanced and sophisticated means of manufacturing, transporting, and smuggling drugs (Massing, 2000).

Research indicates that in past few years drug cartels have purchased commercial jetliners and have erected a fleet of small submarines to transport drugs… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Effects of Drugs Coming Over the Border on Law Enforcement.  (2011, February 15).  Retrieved November 13, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/effects-drugs-coming-border-law-enforcement/533004

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