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In the modern world, every state needs to have a well-established legal framework and set of policies. The aforementioned factors are crucial in preventing the public from engaging in illegal and harmful behavior. Additionally, they help to rebuild a just community in which people can live in peace with one another. I worked as a manager for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security while I was the head of police for a small town. I spent three years working as a law enforcement liaison with the Mexican federal drug trafficking investigation section at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City. Afterwards, the United States’ president designated me as the seating U.S. drug czar and posted in New York City where I am currently operating in the United Nations Office of Drug Control Policy. Following the issue of Marijuana legalization in California, several other drug-related cases are rising due to unethical policies stipulated by other states and may have hidden impacts on future drug policies in North America.
Criminal Justice Policy and Its Impact on Future Drug Policies
Apparently, Mexican president has countered marijuana legalization in California by sanctioning and commercializing other hard drugs including heroine, methamphetamine, and cocaine. In fact, the United Nations accused the two countries of formulating drug control policies that interrupted international unions. The current U.S. criminal justice policy has been profoundly scrutinized to enhance its effectiveness in control of drug trades. Strikingly, the emphasized law conducts an exploration of the challenging issues in other established policies such drug policy among other regulations. Substantially, the present criminal justice policy may influence future North American guidelines on drug trafficking in different ways as explained below.
Currently, the U.S. criminal policy has fundamental clauses that incriminate persons who illegally possess and use drugs. One way in which the particular by-law can positively affect following systems in North America is through criminalization of individuals who unlawfully conduct hard drugs transactions. Notorious drugs traffickers can also be pursued and jailed or even imprison under drug criminality charges (Stevenson, 2011). It is worth the note that national government may find incarcerations of people very challenging due to subsequent labor problems which negatively affect the social, economic and political developments. The U.S. finds it hard to manage the large numbers of imprisoned or incarcerated drug offenders.
Furthermore, the particular country has recorded the highest number of prisoners convicted for drug abuse. The state faces other labor intricacies that may arise due to lack of enough workers in most firms. Therefore, the American national government is forced release people detained criminals on probation or parole in a bid to resolve insufficiency of employees. Besides, there occur critical social-political concerns emanating from extensive imprisonment policies (Stevenson, 2011). Similarly, the minority who are also the underprivileged in the community is disproportionately affected by mass incarceration. Conspicuously, these less-fortunate individuals are imprisoned due to drug abuse. Thus, the prosecuted offenders leave their families in poverty which extremely smother the family opportunities along with their social and cultural norms. Additionally, some prisoners end up abandoning their rights to vote which creates an undesirable political imbalance. Due to these instabilities and their demand for remedies, the current criminal policy has alterations that will be effective in future.
As a matter of fact, the concerns manifested in the existing criminal policy have long-term effects on drug enforcement strategies. Guidelines that support detentions of low-drug users and small market traders are very constricted and strict. For instance, possession of marijuana causes an arrest without negotiations. Other provisions on criminal conducts such as violence and assault offer guidelines on the war on drugs dealing. They also authorize installation of drug treatment therapy to oversee reduced drugs use and trading (Stevenson, 2011). As a result, the current criminal law that directly or indirectly affects social, economic, and political engagements both locally and internationally may eventually trigger amendment of future drug strategies in North America.
Intended Consequences of both Political and Legal Decisions
One of the notable consequences of the legal decision to legalize the production and selling of marijuana is the decline in drug trafficking involving the Mexican criminal organizations. Essentially, California is one of the most populous and economically prosperous states in the U.S (Kilmer, Caulkins, Pacula, MacCoun, & Reuter, 2010). Therefore, the state has been a major target of Mexican drug cartels that smuggle illicit drugs into the country. As a result of this legalization, their businesses will be significantly upset since they will not make profits from selling illegitimate marijuana.
Additionally, the marijuana growers in California will have a better environment to sell their goods since they will have less competition for the Mexican organizations. Research data has shown that these farmers have been experiencing due to the stiff competition in the market. However, with this new legal transformation, the Mexican drug cartels will not invest so much in making their trade in California given that it is less profitable as compared to selling illegal cannabis. At the same time, the domestic production of marijuana will ramp up in California since there will be more demand for the product (Kilmer et al., 2010). The above case implies that the local farmers will benefit immensely from their farming and trade. However, the increased demand for the product, coupled with the legalization, will force the prices to fall, especially at bulk level. Moreover, marijuana consumers will opt to buy from licensed vendors rather than the black market traders, whose products are not tested or regulated. Thus, the decline in prices in California is likely to affect the rates in other states since buyers may want to outsource marijuana from where it is being offered at a lower price.
Unintended Consequences of both Political and Legal Decisions
Due to the reduced lucrativeness of the marijuana business in California, the drug cartels are likely to shift to production of other illicit drugs. In essence, their business has thrived on dealing with unlawful commodities due to their high profitability. Given that California is not the only state in the U.S that has legalized marihuana, it implies that the Mexican organizations have suffered a massive blow regarding their market size. Therefore, to continue sustaining their trade, they will be tempted to move on to the sale of other illegal drugs (Kilmer et al., 2010). Heroin will provide the most suitable alternative since it has already been legalized in Mexico. After the legalization of heroin in Mexico, it means that the prices will go down locally while remaining high in the U.S. Consequently, the profits will increase considerably, which will attract more dealers into the business.
The change in the legal status of cannabis in California will also affect the country’s GDP substantially. For instance, a research study conducted in the year 2015 showed that the state of California provided almost half of the country’s marijuana market (49 percent), whose worth was estimated at $1.3 billion (Carah et al., 2015). Therefore, the decrease in marijuana business due to its legalization will have a considerable impact on the California’s as well as the nation’s GDP.
On the other hand, the decisions of these two countries to legalize the said drugs have not been commended by the UN. In fact, the UN has slammed their governments for sanctioning these moves, since they contradict the international treaties on drug control policies. As a result, the relationship between the UN and each of the two countries will get impaired if this new legislation will be allowed to stand.
Reflection on Effects of Drug-related Corruption
Principally, the modern civilizations are affected differently by corruption that exerts power within commercialization of drugs and justice systems. Evidently, some leaders forcefully endorse drug trading policies for personal benefits (Center, 2011). Despite the fact that drug offenders together with traffickers are highly condemned in the present day communities, some chief government officers still authorize these illegal deals. The primary drive for doing this is to acquire benefits that come from selling drugs. However, the particular act may contain long-lasting adverse effects on the society.
The first noticeable implication of illicit drug businesses is the loss of community productivity. Drugs interfere with normal body activities as some chemicals leads to salutary incapacitation. As a result, young and energetic youths addicted to drugs may either be hospitalized or incarcerated (Center, 2011). Consequently, this implies to loss of laborers in production firms and other industries; thus, the economy may continue to deteriorate. Besides, the community ends up becoming unproductive when people start to underperform or become less industrious.
Moreover, drug-induced corruption may have adverse policy implications. In most instance, governments may tend to favor activities that contribute to the growth of an economy. In this scenario, drug trading is one of the most fruitful ways of fetching a colossal amount of funds as traffickers take advantage of addition. Policymakers may sometimes be inclined to overlook the adverse side effects of drug use and instead prioritize on financial benefit of drug dealing (Center, 2011). On the contrary, expensive policies can get the government’s attention most significantly when illicit drug use leads to unproductivity. For instance, people may come up with interventions policies for reducing drug use. Some of these strategies such as hospitalizations, the introduction of specialized treatments, and imprisonment expenses are very costly and sometimes unaffordable. Therefore, policy complications arise in the effort to manage unpredicted repercussions of illicit drug use.
To summarize, the use of corruption to commercialize drug and justice systems is an incredible way of destroying community productivity. Ideally, some drugs have adverse side effects that may trigger violence and even property destruction. Furthermore, illicit drug business may indirectly lead crime-induced casualties. For example, some crimes such as homicide, sexual assaults, and property damage go hand in hand with important cost implications. Likewise, excessive drug use causes avoidable medical issues that require funds to treat. Therefore, all the above-underscored cases are as a result of corruptions that forcefully sanction commercialization of drugs and justice systems.
Carah, J. K., Howard, J. K., Thompson, S. E., Short Gianotti, A. G., Bauer, S. D., Carlson, S. M., & Knight, C. A. (2015). High time for conservation: adding the environment to the debate on marijuana liberalization. BioScience, 65(8), 822-829.
Center, N. D. I. (2011). The Economic Impact of Illicit Drug Use on American Society. Washington DC: United States Department of Justice.
Kilmer, B., Caulkins, J. P., Pacula, R. L., MacCoun, R. J., & Reuter, P. (2010). Altered state?: assessing how marijuana legalization in California could influence marijuana consumption and public budgets. Santa Monica, CA: RAND.
Stevenson, B. (2011, January). Drug policy, criminal justice, and mass imprisonment. In Global Commission on Drug policies, working paper prepared for the first meeting of the Geneva Commission. Accessed (Vol. 24, p. 2013).
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