Market Price of Cocaine and North American Policies
Latin American leaders and American counterparts agree to the deleterious fact that the much publicized global war on drugs has completely failed. The more than five decades in which tackling drug trafficking characterized violence, oppression and wanton destruction of human lives as well as property have borne negligible results. Though the excesses of a trillion dollars invested in counternarcotic efforts are essentially lost, the US remains at odds with UN and Organization of American States (OAS) for reforms to the contemporary strategy.
The extensive US-Mexico border rests as the principle entry point of shipments of illicit drugs, specifically cocaine into North America. 65% of smuggled cocaine moves across the Southwest border making it easily available in major metropolises in the US. The border between Texas and the Latin American nation of Mexico which harbors the most dominant cartels in the trade is considered one of the uniquely militarized zones. However, cocaine prices are still stable and low implying that the illicit commodity commands a steady supply into North America, more precisely, the US.
This research proposal delves in fundamental questions concerning this contemporary controversy: has the war on drugs inhibited the flow of cocaine into the US? Are efforts by nations involved in the war been successful? Is drug use falling or increasing in the US relative to the prevalent foreign policy? Are cocaine prices shifts determining accessibility to greater American population?
Nixon’s “War on Drugs” initially oppressed the minorities and poor communities in the US and by extension, dehumanizing individuals addicted to drugs as well as considering such persons as lesser peoples who ought to be eradicated. This resulted in some form of cultural standard that inadvertently inched on into the hearts of American suburbs. Policies on drugs resulted in unforgiving laws which served to penalize suburban teenagers in the same manner as hardened drug pushers and career criminals. The war ultimately morphed the political landscape, pop culture and steered in an unconventional strategy of a multi-billion industry employing militaristic avenues for a social problem. The dismal results gained over more than four decades leading to a thriving black market that similar to other business is keen on innovation.
The United States’ border with Latin America is presently among the unique placed in the world in that it is immensely militarized yet there lacks an actual war. South Texas and the San Antonio border regions not only present the main corridor for cocaine smuggling between the US and its neighbor, Mexico but is also the region’s main drug market consumer. San Antonio the trans-shipment epicenter for cocaine smuggled into the country. Since the early 80’s, cocaine which features prominently in the international drug market exhibits relatively stable prices with variations only appearing in comparisons on year to year prices. This price stability is in essence not precise as the accurate sales and movements of cocaine are inherently difficult to acquire given the illegality of the trade. The price shifts are generally affected by such factors as the foreign affairs policy, counternarcotic efforts in source countries as well as initiatives by the US criminal justice system to curtail domestic demand.
According to Mejía (2015), accurate analysis on cocaine production is inadvertently complex as the quantity of the drug generated from an acre of land continues to vary with time and amongst regions. In some places, production continues to rise as farming as well as processing performance improves considerably. In parts where eradication efforts have decreased yields, laboratories have significantly appraised efficiency translating to a situation where ground and satellite surveys to deduce acreage under production multiplied with average production per acre in kilos generates misleading results. This is a significant reason as to the stable production trend based on long term trends. In the recent past, the Global War on Drugs has brought about encouraging seizure figures providing that reducing amounts of cocaine reach drug markets in North America. Such declines are registered in source countries as opposed to market nations implying that there may be greater production than previously envisaged.
Methodological Strengths and Weaknesses
The most significant weakness on data collected and analyzed in major studies relative to cocaine pricing is that such information cannot be gathered accurately noteworthy of associated dangers. However, the North American policies relative to the War on Drugs are considerably successful. For instance, reports on consistent declines in regions under coca leaf cultivation in South America are increasingly becoming quite credible. Interventions by South American administrations in making forays into the dense forest farming regions have resulted in lesser production.
Data and Collection
This research will rely on a quantitative methodology towards achieving a credible conclusion. Given that the market price of cocaine is an important aspect of this paper, it remains as the unit analysis as well as the independent variable by reason of its significance in determining the overall success of North American anti-drugs policies. Independent variables will include data sourced from the criminal justice department such as number of persons incarcerated for activities to cocaine trade or use. It will also involve data from drug rehabilitation centers in specific locations within major cities. These are variables which will determine the extent of supply within the US and by extension, underscore the success rate of the policies consistent with the War on Drugs.
Mejía, D. (2015). Plan Colombia: an analysis of effectiveness and costs. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution.