International Drug Trafficking and Its Legal Status Researce
International drug trafficking is defined as an illicit trade of narcotics that involves the cultivation, production, distribution, and sale of various substances which are prohibited by law (United Nations n.d.). It is considered a transnational threat and dangerous to the health and social fabric of society. The global drug trade is so large that similar to any industry it can be measured through economic terms of distribution, sales, and revenue.
Since the industry operates on the black market as an illegal enterprise, it is difficult to determine exact figures. However, many governments and organizations rely upon analyzing the demand for narcotics. Since drug enterprises receive revenue solely from sales based on demand (which is always exceeded), this method provides an estimation for the scale of the global narcotics trade. The UN estimates the illicit drug market to be worth $320 billion or 0.9% of the worlds GDP (Organization of American States 2013).
Organized crime and illegal terrorist groups are directly linked to the global drug trade. They have developed a sophisticated system of drug production, transportation, distribution, and sale. The unregulated and illicit market serves as a method to finance their operations. The income is used to expand production, intimidate or influence politicians, and invest in ideology. The at least 35% of organized crime groups (UNODC 2017c). The large-scale of the global drug trade has grown primarily due to the levels of financing and expansion that organized crime has invested in the industry.
The globalization of the 21st-century world economy has created a widespread distribution network for drug trafficking. To this point in history, drugs have been a relevant societal concern, and numerous population health issues. Most countries focused on combatting the epidemic domestically. With time, the industry grew to the point of becoming a national security concern. Governments and international organizations began to focus efforts on protecting borders and using geopolitical conflicts as a method to combat drug trafficking. The drug trade is considered a major issue for social stability around the world.
However, some from the industry as the countries serve as centers of drug production. The resulting cash flow contributes to the countrys economy, usually suffering from widespread poverty (Jenner 2011). The drug trade has an impact on legal businesses and the international economy. Large sums of money are laundered and integrated into the global financial system, having no legitimate origin or the support of proper business practices.
Also, the money is used for purposes of corruption that destabilize national and financial institutions. Businesses become involved as their distribution networks are utilized for drug trafficking. Furthermore, money laundering schemes can create false market parameters that impact competition and revenues (European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction 2016). Modern financial controls are negligent in controlling the finances associated with the international drug trade.
Potent and addictive drugs (particularly opiates) were historically present as far as the 17thcentury. In the 19thcentury, nations began to enact regulations after seeing societal effects. At one point, China took an isolationist position on trade with Europe as the British sought to legalize the opium trade. The British Pharmacy Act of 1868 is the first legislation seeking to regulate drug usage and commerce in a Western country (Musto n.d.).