History Essay Example

  • Category:
    History
  • Document type:
    Article
  • Level:
    High School
  • Page:
    3
  • Words:
    1748

The US government

The history of illegal drugs and the us government

The United States has for a long time been prone to the sell, distribution and consumption of drugs. This phenomenon is made possible by several factors that promote the use of drugs in the country1. The US is located next to the Mexican border on the south, this factor alone makes the US governments work cut out for them. The US Mexican border is extremely busy in that a lot of activity takes place from both sides of the country. It is the same border that illegal immigrants cross on their pursuit to enter the American territory2. The country of Mexico is the hub for the production and distribution of drugs and guns. Other countries that have dominated this trade are Peru, Columbia and Afghanistan. This alone is a direct indication that the fight for the illegal drug trade is a bigger issue that one would expect. The distribution of drugs in the country has a long history from the time of presidents Eisenhower’s government to the present authorities.

The purpose of this paper is to provide an outlook on the history of drug trafficking and the United States government. The paper then focuses on the policies that have been enforced by the government to curb the issue. The paper later provides a personal opinion on whether the government’s treatment on this issue has been positive or negative in and outside the country. The research is followed with a concluding paragraph that summarizes the paper offering an opinion on the way forward.

The government’s policy on illegal drug trade today

The United States government has set up several strategies that control the trafficking of drugs. The government used the strategy of attacking the main suppliers as opposed to the concentrating on the users. This is intended to control the central cartels managed by drug lords from countries such as Columbia and Mexico that have complete control of the industry. This policy has worked to some extent in that it has diffused the problem by arresting members who are the main distributers3.

The government implemented another policy that focused on distributors in the country. This targets the traffickers who work hand in hand with the international traffickers. This policy has managed to reduce the amount of drugs traded internally. It however has not succeeded in fully eradicating the problem4.

The government enforced tough punishments on offenders who are caught trafficking drugs. The sentences are intended to reduce the use of drugs in the communities which have complete access. The penalties that have been set up are dependant on the type of the drugs that an offender traded. Drugs such as cocaine, heroin and morphine earn traffickers more years in jail as opposed to dealers in marijuana5. The sentences vary in that collaboration with the authorities can grant a dealer a limited jail sentence. This policy is not as effective in that the same dealers continue to practice the trade in other locations. Most of the policies enforced work for a short period. This policy is thus, not ideal for fully eradicating drug trafficking. The government should enforce policies that not only reduce the use of drugs but stop the trade as a whole.

Is the government treatment on this issue positive or negative?

In the past, the buying and selling of drugs was reserved for the gangs. This type of organized crime was as a result of unemployed and idle youth who were affiliated to different groups making the drug trade part of their top earners. The sale of drugs is thus associated with the youth of minority communities6. This notion on many occasions misleads the public in that society places the blame on the wrong people. What people do not know is that the trade of drugs is controlled by top officials in both the International and the American governments. The government’s approach on this issue is thus difficult due to the fact that some of its members are involves in the trade.

Despite this, the government has not been inactive in this matter. The government launched its war on drugs during the time of President Nixon who founded the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)7. The role of the DEA is mainly to monitor the entrance of drugs into the country. This means that they focus on the main controllers of the trade who in this case are influential people in the society. The government chose to use a different strategy in that they use the small dealers to get access to the most influential dealers8. This move has proved to be positive recording the arrest of key traffickers whose involvement can be traced to several countries. One of the negative actions of the government is that they have not been able to entirely phase out the traders who belong to government organizations. The government has therefore not played its part in protecting the nation from the trade. Majority of the drug users are the youth who are the future of the country. This alone should pressure the government make the control of this issue first priority.

Is the government treatment on this issue positive or negative as a whole?

The government has managed to come up with campaigns that educate the public on the dangers of drugs. This involves allowing the ex drug traders and users to talk to students on the repercussions of using drugs9. This government has also collaborated with educators to make the education of this topic part of the curriculum10. This has been positive in directing the focus of the youth to productive avenues. One of the most successful campaigns was spearheaded by former first lady Nancy Reagan who launched the campaign, just say no. This had a significant impact in the inner circle areas that were predominant users of drugs. The government has recently formed other campaigns that not only focus on the United States but target a wider scope. This involves collaborating with other governments and international organizations in educating the general public on stopping the use of drugs.

The government has experienced some setbacks in relation to the international campaigns. Some countries have not felt the impact of the campaigns and thus continue to be exposed to the drug trade11. The government can change this by increasing the funding on the campaigns so that the majority of the youth in different parts of the world can be made aware. The government also needs to place more emphasis in dealing with corrupt government officials in and outside the country. This can be done by refusing to align themselves with any governments that indicate the covers up and support of the drug trade in their region. For this to be successful, the United States government needs to act as an example for the other governments12. This means that the government has to control drug trafficking in the country before they can stamp their authority in other regions.

Conclusion

The introduction of drugs into the country initially did not pose a threat the growth and development of the society. This issue however continued to spiral into a bigger factor that has left a lot to be desired. The location of the United States makes it vulnerable in that it is more exposed to the source of the drug manufacturers. This has directly involved the government in that they are in charge of the safety of the country as a whole. The government has put in place several policies that have controlled the trade of drugs. Despite this, they are still faced with an enormous amount of challenges when dealing with this issue. The eradication of drug use in the country still has a long way to go. For the government to ensure the complete eradication of the commodity, they need to enforce a zero tolerance policy that targets both the top officials and the small organized gangs. The country will thus be best served if the government involves the society in the crackdown of this issue. If all the members of the society were to make this priority, the use of drugs would be phased out faster than expected.

Bibliography.

Barton, Lee V. 2006. Illegal drugs and governmental policies. New York: Nova Science Publ.

Crandall, Russell. 2002. Driven by drugs: U.S. policy toward Colombia. Boulder, Colo: Lynne Rienner Publishers.

Chepesiuk, Ron. 2000 The war on drugs: an international Issue. Santa Barbara, Calif: ABC-CLIO.

Kenney, Michael. 2007. From Pablo to Osama: trafficking and terrorist networks, government bureaucracies, and competitive adaptation. University Park, Pa: Pennsylvania State University Press

Mosher, Clayton James, and Scott Akins. 2007. Drugs and drug policy the control of consciousness alteration. Thousand Oaks, Calif. [u.a.]: Sage.

Padhy, Prafullah. 2006. Organised crime. Delhi: Isha Books.

Wilson, Richard W., and Cheryl A. Kolander. 2011. Drug abuse prevention: a school and community partnership. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

Richard Wilson W and Kolander Cheryl A, Drug abuse prevention: a school and community partnership ( Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2011), 267.

Youngers, Coletta. 2005. Drugs and democracy in Southern America: the impact of U.S. policy. Boulder, Colo: Rienner.

1
Lee Barton, Illegal drugs and governmental policies (New York: Nova Science Publications, 2006), 231.

2
Russell Crandall, Driven by drugs: U.S. policy toward Colombia (Boulder, Colo: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2002), 134.

3
Richard Wilson W and Kolander Cheryl A, Drug abuse prevention: a school and community partnership (Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2011), 267.

4
Coletta Youngers, Drugs and democracy in Latin America: the impact of U.S. policy. (Boulder, Colo: Rienner, 2005), 356.

5
James Clayton Mosher and Akins Scott, Drugs and drug policy the control of consciousness alteration (Thousand Oaks, Calif. [u.a.]: Sage, 2007), 234.

6
Coletta Youngers, Drugs and democracy in Latin America: the impact of U.S. policy. (Boulder, Colo: Rienner, 2005), 356.

7
Lee Barton, Illegal drugs and governmental policies (New York: Nova Science Publications, 2006), 231.

8
Michael Kenney, From Pablo to Osama: trafficking and terrorist networks, government bureaucracies, and competitive adaptation (University Park, Pa: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2007), 256.

9
Ron Chepesiuk, The war on drugs: an international encyclopedia (Santa Barbara, Calif: ABC-CLIO, 2000), 145.

10
Russell Crandall, Driven by drugs: U.S. policy toward Colombia (Boulder, Colo: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2002), 134.

11
James Clayton Mosher and Akins Scott, Drugs and drug policy the control of consciousness alteration (Thousand Oaks, Calif. [u.a.]: Sage, 2007), 234.

12
Prafullah Padhy, Organised crime (Delhi: Isha Books, 2006), 456.