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Criminal Justice

The Myth, Legend and Truth about Legalization of Narcotics around the World

Introduction

              In a modern society developing into a more global function, the risk of having worldwide problems is part of the challenge. Today, one of the largest and most socially disturbing problems present involves the production, distribution and consumption of illicit drugs. The case over illicit drugs started to be rather local especially in the case of the producers. Nations discovering the sources of illicit drugs such as the cannabis plant to produce marijuana used to make use of the produced substances for their own good. Only in the early 19th century did the compelling globalization of such substances disturb the relationship of nations from all around the globe[1].

The researches directed towards pointing out to defining the course of the worldwide awareness on the existence of illicit drugs have shown that most of the users impose that they continue the use of such substances due to the benefits they get from them. Notably, the relative consideration on such matter have already been evaluated through time and the assessment result remains, illicit drugs and the wrong use of it leads to individual and social problems that often cause chaotic situations resulting to crimes. This is the primary reason why the production, distribution and consumption of illicit drugs have been considered illegal in so many countries under the guidance of the United Nations Agencies[2].

However, it could be analyzed that different countries respond to the matter in different manners. Most often than not, the pursuance of a law against the growth of the number of the producers and users of illicit drugs depends so much on the belief system of a nation based on their culture and their traditional values. This is especially true when the research on the benefits of illicit drugs such as heroin and marijuana has already been introduced and proven to the society. Most likely, the consideration upon culture and national values often challenge the creation of a universal pattern of imposing legal grounds with regards the activities incurred by the society in relation to illicit drugs. In the discussion that follows, a presentation on why and how the nations are different from each other when it comes to defining the structure of their law against the production, distribution and consumption of illicit drugs shall be presented.

 The Development of Efforts on Drug Control

              The administrators of the United States of America has first started to embrace the course of defining and controlling illicit drugs in the early 19th century at the very beginning of the introduction of the said substances in the society[3]. It could be observed that the immediate response of the administrators towards the growth of the creation and utilization of such substances came from an indicative condition that the society underwent when they first discovered the existence of the said drugs. The way these drugs affect the psychological capabilities of a person to decide and handle life normally caused an alarm to the administrators hence pushing them to structure laws that are directed towards the control of the activities related to the expansion of the effects of illicit drugs in the country. Considering the need to control the roots of the problem, the administrators hoped to control the production of the raw materials [such as crops like cannabis, coca and opium] to assure the control of the creation of the illicit drugs. In line with this, the administrators tried to find ways to control the groups that are pursuing the said business in the American soil. These efforts however have been proven less effective as instead of putting a stop to the problem, it did paved the way to the internationalization of drug dealing and drug consumption thus further worsening the situation of other countries that already had an idea about the substances but did not know so much about the big business behind it. Introducing the situation to the world specifically made it harder for the United States and now the United Nations to control the growth of the problem[4]. From one generation to another, it seems that drug-related problems definitely increase and thus affecting more individuals which imposes social chaos in different levels.

In Singapore and China, the NO TOLERANCE policy[5] is the way to go. Although Singapore is a more democratic country than that of the People’s Republic of China [PRC] [which is considered to be authoritatively being controlled by a communist form of governance], it could be observed how their Chinese descent and culture affects how they envision the laws that are supposed to be recognized as part of the need to control matters regarding illicit drugs. Singapore has primarily adapted a policy that defines its administrational control on the situation whereas it is allowed to take into custody some suspected producers, distributors and/or users of illicit drugs even without strong evidence against them. When proven guilty, these individuals face strong punishments that are designed to make them realize of the mistakes related to what they have done relatively in connection with illicit drugs. For the users who are assumed to have been victimized though, rehabilitation programs are prepared for them to undergo and recover from the addiction. In China, the scene is almost the same except that the Chinese government, since it handles a bigger number of populations has to make sure that the programs they provide would not hurt the national budget as much. This is the reason why more are being imprisoned in the country than being rehabilitated. The PRCs population group has extensively applied the law on NO TOLERANCE especially on the transporters of illicit drugs into their country. Most often than not, as mentioned earlier, the operation of groups have now become international. Due to the improvement of laws and the adjustments that have been incurred regarding the said regulations on drug use in countries like china, the drug syndicates operating in an international scope have become more aggressive and used human-transport as a means of transferring their goods to consumer countries.

China is often an exchange country wherein drugs are transported from one country towards another. The human transports are called mules who are forced to swallow up several grams of illicit drugs and pass it on to the consumer after their body releases the drug naturally. In exchange, these mules get paid for what they have committed to in relatively good money [especially that most of the mules come from third world countries]. China has discovered this and decided to impose death penalty as a result to the growing trend. Several drug-mules from the Philippines, Indonesia and Cambodia have already been sentenced to death in the country[6]. The rise of the number of individuals being punished under the conditions of the Chinese law continues to increase every year. It is then expected that through some time, after realizing that the drug-mule approach is not working anymore, the drug syndicates would be able to find more complex procedures of transporting their products into other countries which the administrators would have to regulate again[7]. It seems to be appearing as a skip and tag game between the government and the drug-syndicates as the control for the production, distribution and use of illicit drugs continue.

The Punishments versus the Tolerance

              Unlike China and Singapore, the Dutch administrators decided to deal with the problem on drug-cases increase in a different manner. Instead of creating punishment-based laws, they did well to apply an essence of tolerance to the matter. Believing that one has the right to control his or her own health, the Dutch administrators simply release community advisories to make sure that the public know what they are doing to themselves. In line with that, illicit “soft” drugs are available on over-the-counter purchase. However, restrictions are issued in relative connection to their use. For example, driving while under the influence of a soft drug such as marijuana is forbidden and is considered to be just the same as driving under the influence of alcohol[8]. Hard drugs like heroin however are specifically prohibited by the law. The Dutch administrators believe that by loosening the ropes of control a little, the society would not be curious anymore, nor will they hope for harder drugs to try. The production of crops related to hard drugs are also prohibited in the country. Recently, Dutch officials released a decree on the prohibition of the production of hallucinogenic mushrooms. In a way, this process of controlling and tolerating the acts of the society towards illicit drugs has made it easier for the Dutch administration to lower-down the rates of crimes incurred due to drug trafficking for the past five years. The improvement on the process by which the society views drugs based on their own discretion has allowed them to make good decisions that place them far from the effects of hard drugs and the possible risks of taking in soft drugs as well[9].

Conclusion

              The issue on drug use and abuse has become a cliché on most countries. Major consumers from Europe, America, the western region and Australia find the best ways to have the illicit drugs delivered to them. No matter how the administrators try to control the situation, such an operation is hard to break especially that it involves huge sums of money. Most of the time, being able to catch small-time operators of drug distribution does not account for a big effect on the slowing down of drug-related activities in the world. Instead, these operations simply increase and impose development on the defence system of the syndicates operating towards the expansion of their business. The aggression usually becomes the common response to suppression. Notably, this is the reason why the Dutch administrators hoped to approach the problem differently hence making an instant definition between good and bad drugs; leaving the decision to their people’s discretion over the matter works as reverse psychology. Curiosity over the matter increases desire, while directly knowing its effects through having the chance to try it makes more people understand why they should not take in drugs. Dealing with soft drugs such as marijuana to be similar to the consideration placed on alcohol and cigarette makes it easier for the administrators to concentration on bigger operations directed towards the hard drugs like heroin. This way, the focus is centralized and the direction of drug control becomes more specific. The realization between punishment and tolerance however still depends on the decision of the nation handling the problem regarding drug-related cases affecting their country.

References:

ELaw. The Drug War – Asian Style: A Study Of Legal Measures Adopted To Combat Illegal Drug Use In Singapore And China. http://www.murdoch.edu.au/elaw/issues/v6n1/swensen61_text.html. (Retrieved on January 22, 2012).

Drugs in America: A modern history. http://www.deamuseum.org/museum_ida.html. (Retrieved on January 22, 2012).

Drug Enforcement Administration of the United States. Fact 6: Legalization of Drugs will Lead to Increased Use and Increased Levels of Addiction. Legalization has been tried before, and failed miserably. http://www.justice.gov/dea/demand/speakout/06so.htm. (retrieved on January 22, 2012).

Drugs laws around the world. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11001803. (retrieved on January 22, 2012).

Amsterdam Drugs. http://www.amsterdam.info/drugs/. (retrieved on January 22, 2012).

[1] Drugs in America: A modern history. http://www.deamuseum.org/museum_ida.html. (Retrieved on January 22, 2012).

[2] Drugs in America: A modern history. http://www.deamuseum.org/museum_ida.html. (Retrieved on January 22, 2012).

[3] Drugs in America: A modern history. http://www.deamuseum.org/museum_ida.html. (Retrieved on January 22, 2012).

[4] Drugs in America: A modern history. http://www.deamuseum.org/museum_ida.html. (Retrieved on January 22, 2012).

[5] ELaw. The Drug War – Asian Style: A Study Of Legal Measures Adopted To Combat Illegal Drug Use In Singapore And China. http://www.murdoch.edu.au/elaw/issues/v6n1/swensen61_text.html. (Retrieved on January 22, 2012).

[6] ELaw. The Drug War – Asian Style: A Study Of Legal Measures Adopted To Combat Illegal Drug Use In Singapore And China. http://www.murdoch.edu.au/elaw/issues/v6n1/swensen61_text.html. (Retrieved on January 22, 2012).

[7] Drugs laws around the world. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11001803. (retrieved on January 22, 2012).

[8] Amsterdam Drugs. http://www.amsterdam.info/drugs/. (retrieved on January 22, 2012).

[9] Drugs laws around the world. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11001803. (retrieved on January 22, 2012).