Government and War on Drugs

Government and War on Drugs

Question: Should the Government Use Violence Against Drug Dealers?

Introduction

The drugs menace remains a polarizing issue in many countries while continuing to worsen with changing times. Global drugs lords are consistently devising more ingenious and increasingly expansionist strategies for venturing into new territories with new drugs while leveraging on intricate distribution patterns. Cartels are becoming dynamic and complex systems equipped with skill and expertise in concealment and in handling of illegal merchandise and money. The growing influence and destructive nature of drug dealers is pervasive with its influence experienced in the democratic and economic processes of nations through political influence. As such, the government is tasked with a pressing and daunting prospect to react and curb this drug epidemic. Some governments have resolved to aggressive measures in an endeavor to obliterate the drug market matching the cartels in fire power and tactics. Albeit countries believe that enforcing tough laws on drug users and traffickers will diminish the scale of drug activity, the problem continues to persist across the world. Should governments consider employing an alternative, less aggressive approach that will yield resounding results in dealing with drug trafficking? This paper seeks to argue whether the government should use violence against drug dealers by analyzing perspectives from both sides.

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Arguments For

Gillo, Ioan. “Mexico’s New, Deadlier Crime Lords.” U.S. News & World Report, 8th December 2017, https://www.usnews.com/news/best-countries/articles/2017-12-08/splintering-of-cartels-in-mexico-pushes-deadly-violence-to-record-levels

The violent and destructive nature of drug dealing

The modern drug traffickers are not only deviously cunning making but also extremely dangerous and are not hesitant to apply violent acts to establish dominance and fear. Rivalry among competing drug gangs often lead to drug wars that grievously affect the innocent demographic residing in gang infested regions. Mexico represents an ideal example of a country that is suffering from the consequences of drug wars between cartels. Crime groups in Mexican states like Guerrero have resulted in instability, insecurity, and high murder rates. Competing cartels are unbothered about the collateral damage which is usually the members of the communities. In extreme instances, the community is used as pawns and can be easily eliminated to instil fear when taking over new drug markets.

It is evident that the nature and essence of drug dealing is violent in itself which necessitates the use of violence by legal authorities to counteract appropriately and effectively. Unless governments match drug dealers and employ the same violent tactics, the gangs will not be concerned about the law. Individuals that participate in this trade are already aware that it is illegal and are willing to subscribe to extreme and violent measures to ensure they are successful. In line with this, the government should as well be equally equipped to fight and take the war to drug lords and dealers who praise and propagate violent rhetoric without hesitation or remorse to those affected. The Mérida Initiative is a security deal between the United States and Mexico aimed at grappling with organized and drug related crimes. The agreement is accredited for bringing down thousands of drug dealers making it an effective offensive strategy in the fight against drug traffickers.

The influence of drug dealers

Korte, Gregory. “Trump Pushes Death Penalty for Drug Dealers.” USA Today, 19th March 2018, https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/03/19/trump-pushes-death-penalty-drug-dealers-new-hampshire-opioid-speech/438975002/

A mentioned herein, the influence of drug lords is increasing and affecting political and legal realms of democracies. This is making legal systems ineffective in coping with perpetrators who can easily use their illegally acquired wealth and intimidation to corrupt the processes put in place to bring drug dealers to book. Government institutions have proved vulnerable to the influence and threats of drug cartels which sees offenders walk free and avoid incarceration for their involvement in the drug trade. Before his extradition to the United State, the head of the Sinaloa cartel, Joachin “El Chapo” Guzman was an el elusive figure in Mexico who constantly outwitted the law. The popular drug lord resorted to using his influence in the government to avoid jail term even escaping from a maximum security facility.

Indeed this indicates that following regulations and guidelines alone is not sufficient in dealing with drug dealers. The appropriate strategy is to enforce tough and stringent laws that include using violence against drug traders. The systems of democracy cannot be completely trusted to bring drug offenders to full extent of the law. This is because the dealers hold pervasive influence within government structures which paralyses the efforts of the government in putting an end to the drug epidemic. As such, the government should resort to a more immediate judgment that ensures swift and effective results reducing loopholes in the process. This means using violence to annihilate the drug market and establish a definite conclusion to the menace.

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It is a constitutional provision

Felbab-Brown, Vanda. “The Human Rights Consequences of the War on Drugs in the Philippines.” Brookings Education, 8th August 2017, https://www.brookings.edu/testimonies/the-human-rights-consequences-of-the-war-on-drugs-in-the-philippines/

The current U.S. legislation provides for the death penalty for drugs associated cases, typically those involving murder by drive-by shooting with a firearm offense. In addition there are drug lord provisions within which the death penalty is allowed for dealers that generate over $20 million in drug trade. It however remains unclear whether these provisions are constitutional after a 2008 Supreme Court standing that struck down the death penalty in scenarios where “the crime did not result, and was not intended to result, in the victim’s death.” During a speech back in March of 2018, President Donald Trump pushed for the utilization of the death penalty on drug traders and underscored that the government should get tough and implement a no tolerance policy in dealing with cartels.

The government should definitely use violence against drug dealers in instances where the constitution allows for it. A report by Amnesty International stated that in 2017, at least four countries used the death penalty to execute drug offenders. The nations involved in the execution of individuals associated with the drug trade according to the report were Saudi Arabia, Iran, China, and Singapore. The government is justified in resorting to violence in curbing the drug problem if the law gives provisions for such cases. Tough guidelines and extreme actions are put in place by governments to establish rule and discourage the prevalence of vices such as drug usage and trafficking.

Arguments Against

Mulin, Gemma. “Philippines Vow to Give Free Guns to People to Fight Drugs & Crime. The Sun, 14th June 2018, https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/6535427/philippines-free-guns-community-leaders-fight-drugs-crime/

Human rights violation

The war on drugs is considered to be a violation of human rights as it tends to become extremely violent and going against the provisions of the law. Human rights activists insist that resorting to violence and utilizing laws such as the death penalty is a quick fix that fails to address the root of the problem in a humane and evidence-supported manner. Instead, governments should execute justice and not individuals to ensure an effective and long-term solution to the drug menace. For instance, the violent campaign against drug dealers in the Philippines spearheaded by President Rodrigo Durtete has resulted in the extrajudicial police killings of thousands of people which caused an international uproar from human rights activists. As such the government should refrain from violent measures against drug dealers since it holds abhorrent effects to basic human rights. Some campaigns fighting drug use and dealers have been used to target the minority and poor in the society who are executed without due process.

Violence has proven ineffective

Taylor, Adam. “At Least Four Countries Executed People for Drug-Related Crimes in 2017, Study Finds” The Washington Post, The WP Company, 11th April 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2018/04/11/at-least-four-countries-executed-people-for-drug-related-crimes-in-2017-study-finds/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.bdaa82624f08

The severity of violence involved in punishing drug dealers has done little to stopping drug use and trafficking. A research by the University of Chicago asserted that there is lack of substantial evidence that violence or tougher punishments aid in the elimination efforts of drug activities. Drug dealers are becoming resilient and devising new approaches that render the violent actions of the government ineffective. As such, the government should not use violence but instead push down access illegal substance abuse as an appropriate counter measure. Governments are always seeking to increase the severity of punishment and violence against drug dealers but research shows that these efforts are not providing the desired outcomes since the drug menace continues to be an issue of concern that grows with time.

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Conclusion

Drug abuse and trafficking holds negative effects on the users and is linked with instances of crime and violence making it a pressing concern which governments struggle to deal with. Those that support the use of violence by the government against drug dealers argue that the violent and destructive disposition of the trade should be dealt with the same severity in violence that will bring a definite halt. Violence by the supported is further supported since the drug dealers are heavily influential and can readily access information and resources that enable them to remain free while carrying out illegal deals through corruption and intimidation. The same group that champions for violence also insist that it is justified under various constitutional provisions. The contrasting perspective goes against the use of violence on the basis that it is a human rights violation as well as being ineffective in resolving the issue in the long run.

Work Cited

Felbab-Brown, Vanda. “The Human Rights Consequences of the War on Drugs in the Philippines.” Brookings Education, 8th August 2017, https://www.brookings.edu/testimonies/the-human-rights-consequences-of-the-war-on-drugs-in-the-philippines/

Gillo, Ioan. “Mexico’s New, Deadlier Crime Lords.” U.S. News & World Report, 8th December 2017, https://www.usnews.com/news/best-countries/articles/2017-12-08/splintering-of-cartels-in-mexico-pushes-deadly-violence-to-record-levels

Korte, Gregory. “Trump Pushes Death Penalty for Drug Dealers.” USA Today, 19th March 2018, https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/03/19/trump-pushes-death-penalty-drug-dealers-new-hampshire-opioid-speech/438975002/

Mulin, Gemma. “Philippines Vow to Give Free Guns to People to Fight Drugs & Crime. The Sun, 14th June 2018, https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/6535427/philippines-free-guns-community-leaders-fight-drugs-crime/

Taylor, Adam. “At Least Four Countries Executed People for Drug-Related Crimes in 2017, Study Finds” The Washington Post, The WP Company, 11th April 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2018/04/11/at-least-four-countries-executed-people-for-drug-related-crimes-in-2017-study-finds/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.bdaa82624f08

 

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