Drugs in United States Essay

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Drugs in United States

Drugs are a complex problem with widespread political, economic and social implications for producing, transit, and consumer nations. In the area of foreign policy, political and economic instability in drug producing areas around the world-and particularly in Latin America is an epidemic that cannot be ignored. The objective of this paper is to asses the past issues, current status, and future prospects of the US war on drugs in Latin America - specifically Panama. It begins with a brief overview of the basic problems of drug use in America, and examines how the United States has handled the specific situation of General Noriega and the Panamanians. Finally, I will examine an array of policy options presently available to the United States in its campaign against drug trafficking in Panama and other Latin American countries.

During the late 1980's, the presence of narcotics trafficking in the world grew rapidly. Many claimed that the United States was facing a national security crisis as far as drugs were concerned. In 1988, as may as 75 percent of more criminals arrested in major American cities tested positive for drugs[1]. A Justice Department study backs up this allegation finding that one-half to three-quarters of the men arrested for serious crimes in 12 major cities tested positive for the recent use of illegal drugs whereas a similar study done four years prior showed that only 56 percent of those arrested for serious crimes were abusing drugs prior to their arrest[2]. In addition, out of 1.2 million intravenous drug users in America, 250,000 of them are infected with AIDS. It was estimated that the cost of drugs to American society measured in terms of death, illness, crime, lost ...

... middle of paper ...

...ngton, D.D. (30 September)

[11] Sciolino, E. & Endelberg (1988) ?Narcotics Effort Failed by US Security Goals.? New York Times (April 10th): Y

[12] Sciolino, E. & Endelberg (1988) ?Narcotics Effort Failed by US Security Goals.? New York Times (April 10th): Y

[13] ?Columbia and the War on Drugs.? Foreign Affairs, 67, 1 (Fall) 70-92. (1988)

[14]? Drugs, Law Enforcement, and Foreign Policy: Panama? Hearings before the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics and International Communications of the Committee on Foreign Relations United States

[15] Sciolino, E. & Endelberg (1988) ?Narcotics Effort Failed by US Security Goals.? New York Times (April 10th): Y

[16] Moss, A. (1988) ?Drugs and Politics in Panama.? Paper prepared for the ?Drug Trafficking in the Americas? Conference. The Wilson Center, Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.D. (30 September)

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