How Governments Deal with their Drug Trade Dilemmas

How effective are penalties in controlling the drug trade?

Illegal drug trade is an extremely lucrative industry. The demand for drugs has seen a growth of drug cartels, along with a possible rise in violent activities.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime has attempted to prevent drug trafficking by establishing to work with UN member states to abolish the drug trade. Together they enforce domestic and international policies regarding the illicit trade. However, the ability of a nation to control the trade is still overshadowed by growing conflicts between clashing nations. Conflict in Respective Nations

Many nations are under constant threat against illicit drug trading. These countries are often bordering areas where drugs are processed or are within the trade route of a producing nation and its recipient. Within these nations, drug cartels often resort to violence to protect their territory.

Mexico and USA
The border between Mexico and the United States is one of the most active drug trade zones. !e owner of a cartel can have a net worth of up to $1 billion ,according to CNN, allowing for frequent use of armaments. The BBC claims the war on drugs has seen a death toll of over 55,000 since its emergence in 2006.

Afghanistan
Afghanistan is one of the world’s leading producers of opium and heroin. However, the control over this drug trade is dominated by the Taliban. The money gained from this activity is used to purchase weapons in order to combat foreign troops.

How do countries deal with drug trade?
Harsh penalties have been imposed to restrict drug trafficking.

United States
Drug laws vary according to the drug class and offense. After the second offence, the individual may be sentenced for life and fined up to $20 million.

Europe
Serious offenses may result in 12 years imprisonment, depending on which EU nation the individual enters. However, life imprisonment may also be implemented.

South East Asia
These nations are often caught geographically between drug trade routes, causing a need for harsh punishments. Indonesia, for instance, has a zero-tolerance policy, imposing the death penalty for
drug traffickers.

Despite such penalties, the world has seen a tremendous growth in drug related crimes. A UN estimate of between 99,000-253,000 reflects deaths due to drug abuse. However, the violence that erupts due to this growing trade brings about more victims each year. The result: uncountable deaths worldwide.

By: Caroline Nunn

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