The Paradoxical and Unintended Effects of the War on Drugs
INDUSTRIAL COLL OF THE ARMED FORCES WASHINGTON DC
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The paper examines paradoxical and unintended effects of U.S. policies and strategies to stem the flow and domestic use of illicit drugs. These effects tend to complicate resolution of the drug dilemma. The cornerstone of U.S. drug efforts is a short term, supply-side approach to suppress the production and trafficking of illegal drugs. Some unintended consequences of this approach are increased illicit drug production, generated peasant support for insurgents in producing countries, increased official corruption, overburdened judicial and penal systems, increased drug hardening, and the rise of more sophisticated drug traffickers. The need for more emphasis on demand- side efforts to decrease U.S. domestic use of illicit drugs is steadily gaining momentum. Demand reduction strategies focus on prevention, treatment and rehabilitation programs, and the need for a cultural change. Recommendations to minimize the unintended effects of U.S. anti-drug policies include funding of long term programs which provide legal, viable economic alternatives for drug producing peasants, more funding for multilateral counternarcotics programs, and more funding for drug treatment and rehabilitation programs.
- Government and Political Science
- Sociology and Law