Drug Control Policy As Ethan Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Unfortunately, the American government has been looking in the wrong place for these models, especially in Asia and Latin America. For example, the coca plant from which cocaine is derived grows in abundance in many geographical regions of northern South America and in Central America, where growers make huge profits as compared to efforts to force farmers and peasants to grow legal crops which inevitably do not produce enough profits in order to survive.

Of course, over the last twenty years or so, the U.S. federal government has done much and at great expense to attempt to eradicate the growing of coca but these efforts have also failed miserably. As Nadelmann relates, even if foreign supplies of coca and other drugs like heroin could be cut off, "the drug abuse problem in the U.S. would scarcely abate," due to the fact that much if not most of the drugs like marijuana, amphetamines and hallucinogens (LSD) are made in the U.S. Thus, if cocaine and heroin supplies were eliminated, drug users "would quickly substitute other drugs" in place of cocaine and heroin, thus creating a never-ending cycle of drug substitution and a system wherein new types of drugs are invented to replace the old ones (1998, p. 113).

Nadelmann also points out that any drug control initiative which relies upon supply reduction is futile and that the "single-minded pursuit of a drug-free American society" is dangerously naive. However, the demand for drugs also plays a very important role in helping to design and implement any and all drug control policies, but this too is inherently unreasonable. In the end, Nadlemann only sees drug legalization as the most effective way to control drug abuse and the crimes associated with it; however, the U.S. federal government and most state governments see legalization as "politically unwise and as risking increased drug use" (1998, p. 114).

One pertinent example is imagining waking up one morning to read a newspaper headline that says "Cocaine Legalized in the United States." With this, Nadelmann asserts "If a person before legalization never used cocaine, would he/she then begin using cocaine simply because it is legal?" (1998, p. 115). Therefore, in the opinion of Nadelmann, the most economical and sensible drug control policy in the United States would be made up of some type of harm reduction policy, including a cessation to putting people in jail for drug possession and an increase in rehabilitation and drug abuse treatment programs, along with strictly-controlled legalization procedures.…

Sources Used in Document:


Nadelmann, Ethan a. (Jan. -- Feb. 1998). Common sense drug policy. Foreign Affairs.

Vol. 77 no. 1, 111-126.

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