Geopolitics Of The Global Illegal Drug Trade Criminology Essay

This paper discusses the issues environing the planetary illegal drugs trade and its impacts on 2 instance survey states which are tied to the drugs trade in a peculiarly noteworthy manner, concentrating on the inquiry, Should drugs and the drug trade be legalized? These instance surveies include the undermentioned. Cardinal Asia – peculiarly Afghanistan as an LEDC mass manufacturer of illegal drugs, looking at enforcement and licensing as 2 different options for the hereafter of the drugs trade in Afghanistan. The Netherlands – an MEDC consumer of illegal drugs which has alternate policies towards the drug trade, peculiarly refering ‘soft drugs ‘ ( such as hemp ) , being the closest developed state in the universe to holding soft drugs ‘legalized ‘ and demoing that as many people predict, legalisation does non needfully intend that ingestion and maltreatment will increase. Finally looking at the function of Non-Government Administrations within the planetary illegal drugs trade and what their future function would be if the drug trade was to go legalized. In decision, the article summarises the points raised and presents the reply that legalisation of the illegal drugs trade could be a feasible option but would hold to be carefully and strategically implemented, concentrating on the benefits that could originate from this.

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Keywords: Drugs, Development, Legalisation, Drug enforcement, NGO


One of the biggest jobs confronting the universe today is the production, trade and ingestion of illegal drugs. Millions of people around the universe are involved in either this trade either as manufacturers, sellers or consumers, despite it being a extremely illegal activity with rigorous and frequently rough punishments for even the ownership of a little sum of these illegal substances. In this paper we will be discoursing the effects of the planetary illegal drugs trade in different countries of the universe, and whether the legalisation and ordinance of this trade would be positive or negative.


Afghanistan is one of the universe ‘s top manufacturers of illegal substances, in peculiar opium, and there are many grounds why this is the instance. It is one of the poorest states in the universe, harmonizing to the CIA universe fact book, with a GDP per capita of merely $ 800 and ranked 181st on the UN ‘s Human Development Index – 2nd lowest in the universe. ( CIA World Fact Book, 2009 ) It is a landlocked state with direct links to Russia and the EU – 2 of the universe ‘s largest illegal drug markets – with land motion being extended due to miss of boundary line control. Rugged terrain, with many stray countries makes authorities surveillance and jurisprudence enforcement hard. Due to this and Afghanistan ‘s ill fame for anarchy, instability and poorness ( ensuing from decennaries of war which have ravaged the state ) the opium trade has flourished and now a immense proportion of the state is dependent upon its cultivation. It is interesting that under the Taliban government, degrees of opium production were demoing marks of falling, but since 2001 when the USA declared its “ War on Terror ” , this degree has increased significantly from around 75,000 hectares in 2000 to approaching 200,000 hectares in 2007.

So why is the opium trade such a immense issue? Agriculture is the state ‘s chief signifier of industry and the prostration of the economic system forced more and more husbandmans to seek alternate methods of bring forthing gross from harvests. This came at a clip when demand for opium was increasing due to limitations being made in nearby opium bring forthing states such as India. Farmers realised there immense net incomes could be made from the cultivation of opium poppies, with the hazard of being caught comparatively low due to the grounds mentioned in the old paragraph, despite it being a punishable offense. In add-on, opium poppies are notoriously hardy- they are about drought resistant compared to legal harvests such as wheat. Many Afghans have used poppy cultivation as a agency of investing in legitimate concerns due to deficiency of personal loans ensuing from the hapless economic system ; while bastard usurers have high involvement rates and use assorted signifiers of bullying such as snatch. The earnestness of this state of affairs being that many husbandmans in Afghanistan have small other legal moneymaking option, and the authorities is making small to promote husbandmans to make so. There is besides important grounds to propose that the since the autumn of Taliban, they and other terrorist groups are now significantly funded by the drug trade.

What so are the options available? The first is enforcement of current Torahs whilst offering alternate support options. This involves better monitoring of opium agriculturists in the state and obliteration of Heroin production mills, and offering husbandmans inducements to turn alternate harvests. One suggestion is permutation with Saffron, another moneymaking harvest which has proven to turn good in Afghanistan ‘s clime. This would besides affect bettering the substructure needed to back up legal harvest cultivation. The other option which has been suggested is licencing the opium trade. This gives the authorities much more control over the terminal usage of opium, as it could be used in the production of valuable legal opiates such as morphia. Trade could besides be taxed, supplying valuable gross for the undeveloped economic system of Afghanistan. Another issue this would work out is extinguishing warlords and break uping the ties between the drug trade and human/weapons trafficking as it could be regulated and monitored by authorities governments “ … . ( Licensing ) combines the best of both universes. It stabilizes a important state in the planetary war on terrorist act and alleviates the hurting crisis in AIDS stricken developing states. It is non a silver slug for Afghanistan ‘s many problems, but it does pave the manner for the state to get away its current development and security crisis ” ( Kamminga, Van Ham. 2006 ) . This is non needfully stating that Heroin should be made legal ; but is another option that could be looked into with the legalization and ordinance of all drugs, instead than a choice few.


The Netherlands authorities takes an alternate attack to the enforcement of anti-drug Torahs, believing that drug usage is a public wellness issue, instead than a condemnable one ; and that there is a difference between soft drugs ( hemp ) and difficult drugs ( cocaine, diacetylmorphine ) . A quotation mark which summarises this attitude is “ if a job has proved to be unstoppable, it is better to seek commanding it alternatively of go oning to implement Torahs that have shown to be unable to halt the job ” ( WordIQ: Drug policy of the Netherlands. 2010 ) . They therefore employ a policy of non-enforcement towards soft drugs such as hemp, but will still prosecute users if they are found doing a public perturbation, or present a hazard to themselves or others whilst under the influence of drugs. The Netherlands drug policy has a figure of purposes which are:

To divide the market between difficult and soft drugs so that soft drug users do non come into contact with difficult drugs

To restrict the sale of soft drugs to bush leagues

To deviate net incomes from the sale of soft drugs off from condemnable drug traders

To derive revenue enhancement from the legitimate sale of soft drugs

To utilize the money gained to help job drug users ( i.e. Treatment and rehabilitation ) and promote consciousness and instruction of difficult drugs

To forestall soft drug users being criminalised unnecessarily

So is this policy working? In the USA where hemp is purely illegal and carries terrible mulcts and prison clip, 42.4 % of Americans have tried the drug, whilst in The Netherlands merely 19.8 % of the population have tried hemp, despite it being tolerated and sold freely in java stores ( Degenhardt et al. 2008 ) 9.7 % of immature grownups consume soft drugs one time a month in Holland ; this figure is far lower than the UK degree of 15.8 % , but higher than in other European states such as Sweden ( 3 % ) . The EU norm of soft drug users that go on to go job drug users is 0.52 % , in The Netherlands this figure is merely 0.3 % , and the figure of difficult drug users is besides well lower. These statistics show that while degrees of soft drug usage in The Netherlands is non significantly higher or lower than the remainder of Europe, the degrees of job drug users and difficult drug users is well lower. It is besides interesting to observe that due to revenue enhancements gained from the legitimate sale of hemp, around 90 % of drug users can be treated efficaciously.


NGO ‘s around the universe purpose to eliminate jobs associated with the illegal drug trade ; nevertheless without fiscal backup and entree to resources, their policies are frequently limited. Their schemes focus on act uponing authorities protocol and aiming societal issues in a ‘prevention over remedy ‘ attack. The societal facet focuses on instruction of the immature and those vulnerable to drug dependence, in add-on to funding and organizing rehabilitation for those enduring from dependence. Schemes besides target manufacturers of drugs, peculiarly agricultural 1s. These manufacturers are influenced to cultivate alternate merchandises ( such as wheat ) , both through fiscal inducements and legal bar. All facets of the planetary illegal drugs trade span over big countries, doing it hard for single province authoritiess to move efficaciously. NGO ‘s such as the UN, WHO and the EU create policies aiming drug maltreatment issues to socially better states. High costs and substructure demands for drugs trade bar deter LEDCs from moving, as their costs do non justify their benefits – it is the province importation that frequently suffers the most.A

So what would be the consequence of the legalization of the illegal drugs trade in respects to NGO ‘s? Efficaciously there would be disintegration of all schemes to discontinue and forestall the planetary trade in illegal drugs. Trade would switch to safer paths through lawfully disclosed conveyance topic to examination at boundary lines, so possible would stay for NGO engagement in instances of unregulated drugs being traded across boundary lines.


A quotation mark from ‘The Economist ‘ claims that the UN believes that ” The drug market has “ stabilised ” , intending that more than 200 thousand people, or about 5 % of the universe ‘s grownup population still take illegal drugs ” and goes on to state that “ … by supplying honest information about the wellness hazards of drugs and pricing them consequently, authoritiess could maneuver consumers towards the least harmful 1s ” ( The Economist, 2009 ) . However, the legalization of drugs is a extremely complex and sensitive issue which has many societal, political, moral and economic deductions. The graduated table of which is impossible and is something which many people feel would be an impossible undertaking.

It is a known fact that people around the universe green goods, distribute and utilize drugs- as they have done for 1000s of old ages. Possibly money would be better spent on educating people about the dangers of certain drugs ( including legal 1s ) every bit good as assisting those that have become dependent on either the sale or usage of illegal drugs, instead than outlawing those that use them safely, or have small other feasible options other than bring forthing drugs. This could besides hold benefits for those in the underdeveloped universe who rely on the illegal drugs trade as a beginning of income, and could extinguish the force involved with the illegal drugs trade.


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