Counter-Demand Approaches to Narcotics Trafficking

Document Type



Politics and Economics (CGU)

Publication Date



Defense and Security Studies | Political Science | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration | Social and Behavioral Sciences


The illegal narcotics demand in the US is discussed in relation to the products supplied by the Mexican cartels. This is then contrasted with major legal commodities with addictive properties consumed in the US. Overlaps of use are also noted. Traditional, right of center, and left of center counter-demand approaches to narcotics trafficking are also surveyed. All of these approaches represent no-win scenarios for the US with its ‘troubled population’ of addicted users. Final analysis suggests that a blended counter-demand strategy should be explored based on extinguishing demand, coercing the users, and, to some extent, fulfilling user demand by the provision of prescription narcotics to ‘special status’ addicts and by means of limited decriminalization of personal marijuana use. Such a suggested strategy would have its own negative elements and should be considered less of a bad choice than the other, even worse, US counter-demand policy options that exist.

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© 2010 Taylor and Francis

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