Drugs, Insecurity and Failed States: The Problems of Prohibition

Overview

The world’s wealthiest nations have expended vast blood and treasure in tracking and capturing traffickers, dealers and consumers of narcotics, as well as destroying crops and confiscating shipments. Yet the global trade in illicit drugs is thriving, with no apparent change in the level of consumption despite decades of prohibition. This Adelphi argues that the present enforcement regime is not only failing to win the ‘War on Drugs’; it is also igniting and prolonging that conflict on the streets of producer and ...

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Overview

The world’s wealthiest nations have expended vast blood and treasure in tracking and capturing traffickers, dealers and consumers of narcotics, as well as destroying crops and confiscating shipments. Yet the global trade in illicit drugs is thriving, with no apparent change in the level of consumption despite decades of prohibition. This Adelphi argues that the present enforcement regime is not only failing to win the ‘War on Drugs’; it is also igniting and prolonging that conflict on the streets of producer and transit countries, where the supply chain has become interwoven with state institutions and cartels have become embroiled in violence against their rivals and with security forces.

What can be done to secure the worst affected regions and states, such as Latin America and Afghanistan? By examining the destabilising affects of prohibition, as well as alternative approaches such as that adopted by the authorities in Portugal, this book shows how progress may be made by treating consumption as a healthcare issue rather than a criminal matter, thereby freeing states to tackle the cartels and traffickers who hold their communities to ransom.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415627061
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/21/2012
  • Series: Adelphi Series
  • Pages: 112
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Nigel Inkster is Director of Transnational Threats and Political Risk at IISS.

Virginia Comolli is a research analyst at IISS.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements 6

Glossary 7

Introduction 9

The size of the drugs trade 15

Chapter 1 The evolution of the international drugs trade 21

Globalisation and the rise of transnational organised crime 25

Organised crime and conflict 31

What's special about narcotics? 34

Chapter 2 Prohibition 37

Chapter 3 The producer states 55

Colombia 55

Afghanistan 67

Conclusion 82

Chapter 4 The transit regions 85

Mexico 85

Central America 97

West Africa 103

Conclusions 110

Chapter 5 Alternatives to prohibition 113

Decriminalisation and legalisation 114

The opposition to legalisation 123

Licit production 125

Conclusion 127

Conclusion 129

Appendix I 137

1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Substances 137

1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances 142

1988 UN Convention on Illicit Trafficking of Narcotic thugs and Psychotropic Substances 145

Notes 149

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