The author mentioned that rather than only tying the drug consumption with unemployment, urban drug culture, and other factors, one needs to view the drug pervasiveness issues in light of distribution channels as well. The author mentioned that South East Asia's Golden Triangle was the hub of opium trade to the world. Thai-Burma border was used by the Yunnan province drug lords to change opium into marijuana and heroin. The long trail from Golden Triangle to New York was managed by Yunnan merchants and they exported the illicit drugs to Thai -- Burma border. After refinement into heroin, the drugs were then carried by the Chiu Chau Chinese drug traders. They transported these drugs to Bangkok, South Asia, America and Europe. With loose organizational structures, these Chinese networks of drug trade were closely knit clans and fiercely ruthless in their trade practices as were the gangs of Versailles.
Davenport observed that President Nixon used the rhetoric of 'total war' on drugs as means to gain political mileage as well as controlling the expenses on drug wars. The National Drug Control Strategy document published in 1989 was also criticized by Davenport as being written by a person whose reasoning regarding drug wars was not sound. Davenport mentioned that it was the then U.S. president Nixon who announced war on drugs in 1971. Though he was a user of drugs without prescription, Nixon was naive in restricting the supply of drugs to U.S. soldiers and officers in Vietnam (Davenport, 423). Now after the restriction of selling alcohol to soldiers below 21 was enforced, result was that many of these soldiers sought refuge in marijuana, heroin, and other drugs. The restriction thus proved futile and achieved opposite of what it was aimed for.
It is also evident from the readings and from the personal experience of the writer that unless more sustainable and less restriction oriented policies are not adopted, drug use and abuse cannot be controlled. We are spending much more on the drug wars and still the use of drugs as well as their profitability and trade has increased since long. This reminds of an alternative source of action that does not aggravate the already worse conditions.
Davenport-Hines, Richard. The pursuit of oblivion: A global history of narcotics. WW Norton & Company, 2004.
McCoy, A. "The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade, Afghanistan, Southeast Asia, and Central America." (2003).
Journal 3: Mexico, Drug wars and consumption of illicit drugs
Mexico is termed as a natural supplier of drugs to the U.S. This is due to the fact that both the countries share borders and Mexico has one the highest rate of producing and exporting Cocaine. To put this into perspective, the main argument presented by the researcher sis that Mexico, unlike the U.S. has limited alternative available to sustain a non-narcotic economy. The cartels operating out of Mexico are strong enough; both in terms of financial resources and arms, that government of Mexico can hardly win the battle. Of late, the incidents of violence and mass murders are representative of the fact that Mexico has often chosen the path of drug on wars on the U.S. insistence.
The illicit drug consumption and trafficking did not remain an important agenda for the Mexican government until in 1980s, the U.S. government forced Mexico to curb the trade (Chabat, 135). Chabat also argued that unlike the popularly held opinion of many that drug consumption is a social problem in Mexico, it is unlikely to be so in near future. However, the trafficking of drugs into neighboring America is the most serious issue faced by the Mexican government.
It seems, from the pattern described by Davenport and other researchers that the restriction in drug trade gave rise to a parallel illicit drug trade mafia. The mafia did not spare any part of governments or other institutions in corrupting them. Such multi-billion became the industry that the drug lords had more money than the governments, as in case of Mexico (Grayson, 252). The pattern of drug infiltration, as in case of American fought 'drug wars' is also evident in case of Mexico. The more that government has tried to curb the influence of drug dealers, more notorious have they gone.
Mexico is an example where drug war has effectively choked the state's ability to fight and prevailing law and order. Thus, the war should be fought in some other way rather than the one used since Nixon administration as well as successive governments of Mexico. Grayson also mentioned that the use of drugs has undergone much change. Bayer initially marketed cocaine and heroin added drugs that were ultimately banned in Europe as well as the U.S.
Grayson also mentioned that the Mexican government was virtually failed by the drug lords and peddlers that choked the ability of government to react in a decisive manner. From corruption of officials of highest rank to the murders of several drug regulating agents, the drug lords in Mexico are known for their contacts in the government circles as well as international supply network. The opium smoking rooms in Mexicali could be traced as late as 1920s. It was in 1940s that the government started using punitive approach towards trade in illegal drugs.
This was an indication towards international sensitivity towards drug use and trade. There remains a wide disconnect with the policy makers and research scholars regarding the consumption of drugs. While policy makers such as the politicians and administrators rely on coercive and punitive measures to restrict the use of drug stores, scholars argue that such measures only induce the demand and complicate the existing supply chain of drugs. The case of women in New York indulging in drug ecstasy only for the sake of pleasure due to its banning is cited as a prime example whereby the users take pleasure in flouting law by consuming illicit drugs. While there must be regulation of drugs industry and unchecked growth of consumption cannot be supported, the governments should likely take other steps to rectify the problem.
The growth of Mexico's drug trade is also attributed to the wars on drugs in the neighboring countries and in Southeast Asia by the U.S. presidents. The U.S. termed drug infiltration a national security issue whereas previously it was only the matter of law and order. The coinciding patterns in the drug wars of the U.S. And Mexico indicate that there is significant difference in capacity of each government to restrict supply and consumption of drugs. While the U.S. had all the resources with them in fighting the war on drugs, the Mexican government has been made to fail by the aggressive war polices of the U.S. On drugs.
This has had a negative impact on the governance and other political issues in Mexico. While little got improved after each drug war declared by Mexico under the U.S. pressure, there have been several occasions where the governments have struck deals with these cartels as well. There have been several spells of peace between the drug peddler's traders, and the governments. Mexico is the most effected government due to presence of influential drug dealers.
The literature indicates that the war fighting over drugs restriction has proved to be counterproductive and not only the geographical areas served by drug dealers has increased after each misconceived war but also that the influence of drug cartels has increased in the government ranks as well as other institutions., The ability of government is significantly been put at risk while waging wars on drugs. Researchers have argued that banning certain drugs or making them unavailable through crackdown on supply-chain of illicit drugs only made the matter worse. The consumption of stimulants and pleasure seeking drugs has also increased as the number of drugs made from each main drug has also increased.
Chabat, Jorge. "Mexico's war on drugs: No margin for maneuver." The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 582.1 (2002):…