Can The Global Community Win The Drug War? Essays Examples
The war on drugs has failed to address the issues of drug abuse and addiction in spite of strict legislations enforced by the governments of the world nations. The major goal behind the drug wars is to stop the use of drugs through the tough enforcement of strategies. The primary aim of the drug wars is to prohibit the supply of various drugs, which include heroin, cocaine, marijuana and many others so the individuals would not be able to afford using such drugs. The secondary aim of the drug wars is to discourage individuals who use drugs by penalizing them with huge fines. Minimizing the supply of drugs has dominated the efforts of drug war. Restricting the growth, manufacture, distribution and sale of drugs results in the scarcity of drugs leading to increase in the price of drugs and drop in their consumption .
Beginning in the late 1960s, the efforts to control the use of drugs began to expand through programs, such as treatment and preventive education. Such programs intended to provide care to drug addicts through education about the harmful effects of drugs. Though such efforts helped to reduce or avoid the use of drugs in many individuals, they failed to alter the punitive force of the drug strategy. However, according to the report generated by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, the drug-control efforts have brought fruitful results as there is a decline in the supply of two major drugs opiates and cocaine in the past two years . The report also stated that the total area of cultivation of drugs has declined by 23 percent in the last decade. Moeover, the cultivation of opium and coca has also minimized by 28 percent in the recent decade.
Even in the United States, the consumption of one of the harmful drugs, cocaine has minimized by over 60 percent in the 1990s and another 25 percent in the last decade. The production of opium has diminished by 15 percent in 2009 and the production of heroin has reduced by 9 percent across the globe . Moreover, the cultivation of coca has also declined by 13 percent worldwide reducing the cocaine production to drop of 16 percent. With regards to distribution, there has been a steady decrease in the global seizures of cocaine in the past decade. Cannabi herb seizures have also seen an increase of 23 percent within a span of just three years. There has been an increase of awareness in the public about the unacceptable levels of drug use. The governments’ efforts have also brought fruitful results in the decline of drug use. There has been a consistent decrease in the cultivation of drugs in major drug-producing regions, which include the Andean region and South East Asia.
The two major challenges ahead of drug-control efforts are uncoordinated efforts among nations and limited means of resistance in weaker countries. Despite the incorporation of various policies by the United States with the goal of reducing drug use across the globe, other countries criticized the efforts stating that the country is attempting to enhance its power across the globe. US has always focused on punishing the abusers paying less attention to treatment while the Western European countries have emphasized on treatment and harm reduction. It has been over 40 years since the beginning of the war on drugs; however, the illegal drug operators have always been winning the war through the means of violence, crime and corruption. The drug war has cost $1 trillion and millions of lives with no positive results . Recently, President Obama has also increased the government spending towards the prohibition of drugs and the enforcement of laws. The failure of the political bodies to create a unified framework worldwide has allowed great opportunities for the drug users and suppliers to carry out their activities at free will.
Though the Single Convention, a drug control system has been looking forward to improve the health and welfare of individuals, its design and implementation by the member states have failed to reach its objectives. There is a definite relationship between the scale of the drug market and the level of harm it does to human health. While small scale networks lead to lower levels of crime and social issues, large scale networks that involve gangs across long distances are a serious threat . There is a limited impact of strategies enforced to reduce the wholesale supply of drugs on a large scale due to its expensiveness and complicated nature. Moreover, eradicating the focus of production in one area has led to the shift of production to a new area. The governments of world countries have failed to halt the distribution of illegal drugs, which for most of the time takes place through organized crime.
Seizures of drugs have also been unsuccessful in influencing the purity, price and availability of drugs. Due to the diverse methods of controlling drug use across the globe and the ingenuity of drug traffickers, the drug war has always been a victory for the drug operators. Moreover, the drug reduction strategies have always focused on two mechanisms, education and deterrence, which were able to create only a negligible impact on the overall population of drug use. Disciplinary actions, such as arrest and punishment have also failed to impact the macro population. Though the use of drugs has gained a widespread unacceptability across the globe, it has created a little influence on the drug users. The drug war has resulted in unintended consequences, which include the increase of organized crime, misdirected government expenditure and violations of human rights . Thus, the global community has failed to win the drug war. If the same scenario continues, there is no hope that the global community would ever win the drug war.
Harf, James E. and Mark Owen Lombardi. Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Controversial Global Issues. Dushkin/McGraw-Hill, 2005.
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