Drug Trafficking in the United States

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Drug use and abuse has been an American issue since the 1800’s. This country’s early struggles included insignificant, by today’s standards, issues such as trying to prevent farmers from manufacturing their own whiskey (Brown Jr., 1981). When one considers the current task of trying to keep entire communities from being destroyed by the effects of the trafficking of illegal drugs; there is no comparison. When most people hear the term drug trafficking, they automatically think of smuggling illegal substances into the country. Drug trafficking is actually defined as “an offense under federal, state, or local law that prohibits the manufacture, import, export, distribution, or dispensing of a controlled substance (or a counterfeit substance) or the possession of a controlled substance (or a counterfeit substance) with intent to manufacture, import, export, distribute, or dispense” ( eHow google search). In an attempt to stop illegal drug trafficking in the United States the federal government has spent roughly 200 to 250 billion dollars in the war on drugs over the past decade (NY Times, 2012). According to the latest figures by the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the estimated budget for the year 2013 for fighting the war on drugs is 25.6 billion dollars (Whitehouse.gov). While that amount may sound staggering, this financial burden targeted toward the prevention and spread of illegal drug trade, distribution, and use in the U.S. it does not include the tremendous financial burden that it indirectly affects in society. For instance, it’s currently estimated that one in five adults in state prisons are serving jail time as well as over half for drug related charges (NY Times, 2012). What’s the best way to attack this national epidemic? An epidemic that is complex, which not only plagues the U.S., but bordering countries like Mexico, and Central America who have large financial interest at stake when it comes to the U.S. drug...
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