chapter  4
24 Pages

Interdiction As a Strategy

The constant struggle between drug enforcement agencies and illicit traffickers in narcotics and other dangerous drugs is not a zerosum game. Every time the authorities change the rules or change their procedures the criminals will have a corresponding response. If interdiction begins to succeed in any one area, supplies will be routed from other avenues; if the total supply volume changes, prices on the street will also change to reflect that; if penalties for use or possession change, so will the specific activities of those selling and distributing the drug. The only reasonable goal of law enforcement using interdiction as a strategy must be one of containment rather than eradication, as eradication is simply not achievable. In other words, it’s not necessarily a failure when narcotics continue to enter the country if the final level of consumption drops. It might even be termed a success of sorts if the consumption level merely remains constant, since the cry of enforcement agencies is that use would soar without their efforts or if the drugs were made legal. Unfortunately, even given this caveat, it becomes fairly obvious when examined that these efforts have yielded only very limited successes and, by many people’s standards, have actually been failures.