Derek L. Stewart
Dr. E. Masocha
April 3, 2013
Drug trafficking is a major global issue because the cultivation, manufacturing, and distribution of illicit drugs debilitates people, cripples economies, and provides funding for wars or terrorism. Drug trafficking and drug addiction has cost millions of lives, driven others from their homes, caused financial collapse, and broken up families. For example, according to Linda Hefrich (2010), Ecuador provided political sanction for over 300,000 Columbian refugees fleeing the drug cartels and drug related issues. Drug trafficking generates a tremendous amount of currency. This money is used to fund wars and terrorism. For example in Afghanistan the cultivation and exportation of opium, funds terrorist sects. Illicit drug trade affects under developing countries but it also affects major super powers like the U.S. According to Aaron Cooper, a producer for CNN Health (2011), 22 million people or 9% of the population in America use illegal drugs for recreation or to sustain their substance addiction. The rate of consumption and production of illegal drugs is staggering. Cultivation, manufacturing, and distribution are the main issue in decreasing the global drug trade. There are several possible solutions for decreasing global drug trafficking. One solution may be government involvement such as the UN’s involvement in developing countries like Mexico, Columbia, and Afghanistan or increased efforts on America’s War on Drugs Campaign. Another solution could be providing education to developing countries. A final solution could be establishing global gun control laws which would make it more difficult for the cartels to gain access to weapons.
First of all, the involvement of the United Nations could be a solution to decrease drug trafficking because the members of this international organization seek to provide international stability and security. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime aims to prevent the cultivation of plants used to produce illicit drugs. For example, the UNODC uses its resources to provide developing countries with the education to cultivate legal cash crops as a stable source of income. UNODC.org (2013) stated, “The UNODC implements multisectoral rural development projects in Latin America, South-East Asia and the southern part of Central Asia. Furthermore, UNODC helps countries link their drug control approaches to the development of policies and strategies for increased economic development.” The UN uses its influence to fight drug cartels and to extinguish governmental corruption caused by drug trafficking. For example, in Mexico the drug cartels have infiltrated the government and established corruption within the police, military, and politicians. The UN’s involvement could fight the drug cartels and then assist the people in establishing a corruption free government. The UN’s involvement in foreign affairs could help decrease global drug trafficking by instituting strict international drug laws and providing nations with the education to provide legal income.
Secondly, developing countries with poor economic structures often turn to the cultivation, manufacturing, consumption, and distribution of illicit drugs because drugs provide a living. However, educating developing countries about the consequences of drug cultivation, trafficking, and abuse could decrease drug traffic. Education would increase the creation of legal jobs that would help generate an honest living for people of developing countries. For example, providing education for the people Mexico could eliminate their reliance on jobs with the cartels for monetary dependence. According to Kirsch (1995), SEAMOS is an acronym for a System of Education for Social Mobilization Against Drugs. Their sole purpose is to provide underdeveloped countries like Bolivia with education in order to effectively fight drug trafficking and drug abuse. Through governmental mediums education provided to underdeveloped countries can help fight drug consumption and trafficking. Using education for as a weapon will help create jobs, laws, and economic stability.
Lastly, the establishment of strict global guns laws would limit the amount of weapons used to control drug trafficking. Legislating gun control could decrease the amount of control that cartels use to protect their illegal business and fund drug wars. For example, the Mexican drug cartels have generated so much hard currency that they can purchase nearly any weapon they desire. These cartels have so much money to purchase weapons that their weapons are often more advanced than the Mexican military. They use these weapons to fight other competing cartels and kill those who oppose their illegal drug rings. According to Puig (2013), “More than 60,000 Mexicans have died since 2006, when our own version of the “war on drugs” was declared. The army was sent into the streets to fight traffickers, and violence erupted in dozens of cities around Mexico.” The government cannot effectively protect its people if the criminals have more power and more sophisticated weapons than the military. The cartels use their weapons to invoke fear. Making guns more difficult to acquire would limit the amount of control that the cartels have over the people and government. Making these weapons more difficult to obtain would lead to decreased trafficking because the local authorities could protect their people and streets.
In conclusion, drug trafficking is a major global issue around the world. It is present in almost every country. In larger countries there is a demand for illicit drugs because the economy is stable and the population uses the drugs for recreation. In developing countries use the cultivating and manufacturing as a source of income and often do not see the harm in drug trafficking. However, drug trafficking cripples economies in developing countries, causes corruption, enslaves people, and kills millions every year. Therefore, the involvement of international organizations like the UN, providing education, establishing strict gun control laws could decrease global drug trafficking and improve lives across the globe. References
Cooper, A., (2011). Study: 22 Million Americans use illegal drugs. CNN.com. http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com/2011/09/08/study-22-million-americans-use-illegal-drugs-3/ Helfrich, L., (2010). Humanitarian Crisis: Refugees in Ecuador. http://www.dandc.eu/en/article/refugees-ecuador Kirsch, H. W., (1995). Drug Lessons & Education Programs in Developing Countries. Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick, NJ. Puig, C., (2013). Adding Absurdity to Tragedy. International Herald Tribune: The Global Edition of the New York Times. http://latitude.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/08/a-memorial-in-mexico-city-adds-a