International Drug Control Policy
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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This report provides an overview of U.S. international drug control policy. It describes major international counternarcotics initiatives and evaluates the broad array of U.S. drug control policy tools currently in use. The report also considers alternative counterdrug policy approaches to current initiatives and raises several counterdrug policy issues and considerations for policy makers. Illegal drugs refer to narcotic, psychotropic, and related substances whose production, sale, and use are restricted by domestic law and international drug control agreements. Common illegal drugs include cannabis, cocaine, opiates, and synthetic drugs. International trade in these drugs represents a lucrative and what at times seems to be an intractable criminal enterprise, affecting countries worldwide and generating between 100 billion and 1 trillion in illicit profits per year. Revenue from the illegal drug industry provides international drug trafficking organizations with the resources to evade and compete with law enforcement officials penetrate legitimate economic structures through money laundering and, in some instances, challenge the authority of national governments. Despite apparent national resolve to address international narcotics trafficking, tensions appear at times between U.S. international drug control policy and other U.S. foreign policy goals and concerns. Pursuit of international drug control policies can sometimes negatively affect national interests by exacerbating political instability and economic dislocation in countries where narcotics production is entrenched economically and socially. Drug supply interdiction programs and U.S. systems to facilitate the international movement of legitimate goods, people, and wealth also are often at odds.
- Economics and Cost Analysis
- Government and Political Science
- Sociology and Law