Policing the Drug Problem in United States


As Cratty (2010, p.1) argues, controlling the ever-increasing availability of drugs in the American streets is one of the primary challenges that the federal government faces.

Although the federal government since time memorial has dedicated a good portion of its budgetary allocation to the anti-narcotics department, as research studies indicate, majority of its efforts have achieved little; hence making many to question the worthiness of the government’s efforts.

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In its struggle to deal with the drug trade, the American government works closely with anti-drug agencies, for example, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which works closely with the FBI, when it comes to drug cartels across international borders.

To control the spread of drugs the American streets, DEA works closely with local police units, which have proved very important to the war on illegal drugs.

That is, through application of the current multi-lateralized drug policing strategies, the federal government has managed to control the spread of drugs from the American streets, through arresting and prosecuting masterminds of the illegal drug trade.

Such arrests and eventual prosecutions are of significance not only to the government, but also economically to the American government and societies, because of the role they play in maintaining a peaceful and secure America.

Although this is the case, it is crucial to note that, drug policing is one of the most expensive ventures hence, the tendency of the federal government to deviate funds, which it can use in solving other problems the American citizenry (Feyerick, 2009, p.1).

Pros of Policing the Drug Problem

As research studies by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention on the effect of drugs on the American Citizenry show, substance abuse is one of the primary troubles facing the American citizenry. As statistics indicate, more than twelve million Americans abuse drugs, a factor that has contributed in many health issues and economic burden on individuals, and families, as most substance abusers rarely have control over their habits (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2010, p.1).

With the current technological advancements, the situation has turned worse, as most drug sellers and distributors use high-tech systems to ensure they evade the long arm of the law. For example, with the advent of the internet, some drug dealers conduct their trade online, a case that is very hard for most community initiatives to combat hence, the current governmental drug policing initiatives (Crespigny, 2002, pp. 70-76).

One prime problem that policing has helped to solve is the high drug related insecurity cases that existed previously. As research studies show, to defend their trade, drug dealers use anything at their disposal, for example, guns to ensure their trade prospers.

In addition to crime by dealers, to sustain their drug needs, most drug abusers engage themselves in violent activities, for example, robbery in order to get money to meet their drug desires. However, with the current extensive policing measures, the federal government has managed to control drug-associated crimes hence, ensuring secure American societies.

Although most individuals may argue that, drug policing has achieved little as far as the war on drugs is concerned, currently the situation in societies is better as compared to some times back, when present policing measures were not present (U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, 2004, p.1).

In addition to reducing the crime rates, policing the drug problem is of great significance to the government, because it gives law-enforcing officers an opportunity of expanding their criminal expertise. Such exposure is of great significance in dealing with the current drug trade systems, as most drug dealers use high-tech technologies in their business dealings.

In addition, because one primary agenda of the government is to ensure the American citizenry remain secure, policing offer an opportunity of protecting its citizenry from negative effects associated with the drug trade and abuse.

It is important to note that, the drug trade is one of the most extensive illegal trades that transcend beyond international borders. Therefore, because of the national security threats posed by transnational and local organized criminal gangs, policing plays a central role in eliminating such threats hence, a secure America (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 2010, p.1).

On the other hand, policing the drug problem has many economic advantages not only to societies, but also to the government. Success of any policing endeavor will mean that a society can sustain itself economically, because most of the resources that individuals dedicate to drugs are of great economic significance if the government succeeds to eliminate such drugs from the American streets.

Societal economic sustainability is of great significance to the general economic well-being of a nation, because it helps in reducing the general governmental spending. In addition, appropriate policing strategies can help to minimize such expenses through eliminating illegal drugs from the society (International Institute for Environment and Development, 2010, p.1).

Cons of Policing the Drug Problem

Although policing the drug problem can be can be of great significance economically and socially, with the current state of the drug trade, the entire process is one of the most expensive ventures. Annually, the federal government spends millions of dollars to deal with the illegal drug issue, although as research studies indicate, most of its efforts have achieved little in controlling the selling of drugs in the streets.

Therefore, economically, policing the drug problem will mean that, the government has to increase its expenditure to its justice department at the expense of other development sectors.

For example, to train police officers and equip them with the necessary gadgets needed to deal with the ever-changing illegal drug trade systems, the government has to allocate extra cash to the justice system, hence greatly jeopardizing other developmental initiatives. Although many individuals may argue that most federal anti-narcotics agencies requires no government support because they are able to sustain themselves using funds got from drug barons, the government must subsidize their expenses (Blumenson, 2010, Para. 1-7).

Another disadvantage of policing the drug problem is that, although the constitutions spell out every American citizen’s rights, from the time of arrest to imprisonment rarely do law-enforcing agents respect such rights in drug related cases. As research by the Drug Policy Agency, police officers harass majority of suspected drug dealers, because in most cases police officers conducted unwarranted searches and deny them their freedom of speech.

In addition to such harassments, most law enforcing agents rarely investigate reasons behind an individual’s drug habits hence, jeopardizing chances of the society reforming such individuals’ characters (Drug Policy Alliance, 2010, p.1). On the other hand, because policing requires the cooperation of community members, likelihoods of law enforcing agents exposing individuals are high; hence, posing many security threats to members of given societies.


In conclusion, although policing the drug problem can be of great economic and social significance to the government and society, for policing to work effectively in eliminating drugs from the American streets, there is need for the government to review it policies on the illegal drug trade. This is because, as research studies show, some illegalized drugs can be of medicinal purpose, have no associated dangerous health effects, and can increase the government’s revenue collection.

Reference List

Blumenson, E. (2010). Policing for profit: the war’s hidden economic agenda.

Retrieved June 23, 2010, from

Center for Diseases Control and Prevention (2010). Illegal drug use. CDC.
Retrieved June 23, 2010, from

Cratty, Carol. (2010) Mexico drug cartels extend reach in U.S. CNN. Retrieved June 23, 2010, from

Crespigny, C. (2002). Double jeopardy: disadvantage and drug problems.

Australian Journal of Primary Health, 8(1), 70-76.

Drug Policy Alliance. Drugs, police and the law. DPA. Retrieved June 23, 2010, from

Feyerick, D. (2009). Drug smugglers becoming more creative, U.S. agents say. CNN.
Retrieved June 23, 2010, from

International Institute for Environment and Development. To legalize or not to legalize. IIED. Retrieved June 23, 2010, from

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (2010). UNODC organized crime. UNODC.
Retrieved June 23, 2010, from

U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. (2004). Drug trafficking in the U.S. Almanac of Policy Issues. Retrieved June 23, 2010, from


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