A Silent Nightmareby Sergio Ferragut
After 40 years in law enforcement and national security, my views on drug trafficking reflected those of my peers. However, Ferragut's research leads me to conclude that by any measure of effectiveness we care to apply the so called ""war on drugs"" has been, continues to be, and will end-up as an abysmal
The epiphany of a former drug enforcement agent, by JS.
After 40 years in law enforcement and national security, my views on drug trafficking reflected those of my peers. However, Ferragut's research leads me to conclude that by any measure of effectiveness we care to apply the so called ""war on drugs"" has been, continues to be, and will end-up as an abysmal failure. Ferragut's arguments are devoid of partisanship or ideological bias. The main issues of illicit drug trafficking are well researched and end with an objective cost benefit analysis. The concluding chapter, The Solution Spectrum"" identifies policy guidelines: Zero Tolerance, Consumption Tolerance, Laissez Faire Legalization, and Legalization and Control (decriminalization, regulation and control). The book provides the model of a compelling payback mechanism involving companies dealing in money laundering. This illustration justifies the cost of the book, which includes an excellent bibliography, and a comprehensive list of acronyms.
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The book is full of data and facts that opened my eyes to a reality seldom discussed in the media. Is it too late to bring the issues surrounding drug prohibiton to the forefront? The author seems to think that facts and figures can drive a change in public attitude towards ilegal drugs and lead politicians to take a stand. Hopefully he is right, however, I fail to see that happening. It takes a statesman or stateswoman to speak up with conviction, so far I see only politicians trying to get elected or re-elected.
The author presents a truely compelling case for an entirely new dialogue on the 'war on drugs.' Current drug policies --especially US policies -- are producing devastatingly different results from those intended and a change in approach is urgently needed. I found the book extremely illuminating on a complex subject. It proposes real solutions, but those solutions require a radical shift in approach -- and courage on the part of the politicians, something we see less and less of these days. Important reading for anyone who cares about the economic and social health of the US and its neighbors.
This is an outstanding Book. Sergio Ferragut has an excellent analytical mind and uses it to dissect all aspects of the illicit drug business worldwide. He presents an overview of that business by addressing Cultivation/Production of illicit drugs, Demand for illicit drugs, Supply/Distribution of them with particular emphasis on the role of Mexico as both a producer and transshipper of many illicit drugs. He also covers the historic U.S.-sponsored international War on Drugs, Supply/Demand curves (Economics 101) for specific drugs promulgated by the illicit drug industry and Drug Trafficking Organizations (DTOs). He provides detailed scenarios for drug money laundering, one of the critical aspects for success for an international producer participating in the U.S. market. I found that chapter scintillating and also the following one of Myths and Realities - the Bottom Line on Illicit Drugs, Drug Use and Abuse, the War on Drugs and Drug Money Laundering. He dug up as a model a 1933 analysis of the Prohibition of Alcohol, "Toward Liquor Control" by Raymond B. Fosdick and Alfred L. Scott and draws extensive parallels to the current situation with illicit drugs. That is no surprise when you find out that his diagnosis offers 4 alternative approaches (zero tolerance, consumption tolerance, laissez faire legislation, legalization and control) and strongly recommends the legalization and control approach. Although he makes a good case for that, I am very skeptical that legalization and control will take the money out of illicit drugs and the illicit drug lords will roll over and allow themselves to be forced out of what I expect would be a lucrative and still highly profitable enterprise. Nevertheless, the astonishing wealth of facts and analysis in the book will help you to become well informed about a subject you don't read much about. I highly recommend this book.
Ferragut presents the data necessary to demonstrate that drug prohibition, as alcohol prohibition in the 20th century, does not work. His analysis of the options open for consideration to solve the problem leads me to conclude that any real, in depth solution, must be around what he calls legalization and control. This approach would essentially require decriminalization of the use of today's illicit drugs to be followed by a proper program of regulation and control of drug use. The war on drugs does not work, it hasn't worked in almost four decades, Ferragut got it right! This book ought to be required reading for anyone involved with drug policy.