DRUG CONTROL POLICIES: THE CASES OF COLOMBIA AND THE UNITED STATES
1 online resource (212 pages) : PDF
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
The consumption, production and trafficking of illicit drugs is one of the major problems facing nearly all societies today. Unfortunately, illicit drugs have the ability to disintegrate persons, families and, in some extreme cases, entire societies. The globalization of the industry of drugs has transformed the illicit drug business from a geographically focused issue to one of the most important global matters. Although drug control policies are abundant throughout the globe, the rates of drug production and consumption do not seem to be affected. This dissertation analyzes the main international drug control policies of two major illicit drug producer/consumer countries representing opposite market perspectives: Colombia embodies the supply side of the drug market, and the United States characterizes the demand side for the particular case of cocaine. Based on relevant behavioral economic theory, social support and strain criminal justice theories, among others, and keeping in mind the guidelines provided by the United Nations, the document describes and critiques current policies. The methodology consists of process evaluations of particularly important strategies against drug production in Colombia (The Alternative Development Strategy (AD)) and drug consumption in the US (The Stopping Initiation Campaign-Prevention (SI)), utilizing data and results from previous existent evaluations. Through policy evaluation and analysis, which utilizes mainly document analysis plus some descriptive quantitative analysis, this document studies if there are major implementation failures in the delivery of the services of the selected drug control strategies? The general findings show that although drug control policies in Colombia and the United States are consistent with the United Nation's guidelines, they are not always theoretically grounded. Particular findings, based on the limited information accessible to the author, suggest that although the Alternative Development strategy and the Stopping Initiation Campaign policies appear to be focused on the appropriate target population and seem to be providing appropriate services, there are some recognizable implementation failures that limit the effectiveness of these drug control strategies. In addition, the scarcity of publicly available good quality theoretical and empirical reports and evaluation, regarding the conceptualization and processes through which the AD and SI programs are implemented, complicate any assessment of how these drug control policies work. Policy implications call for greater clarity and more cohesiveness in the structure of the programs within the countries. Additionally, better accountability of these programs is required. There is also an urgent need to emphasize the crucial importance of the implementation of theoretically sound policies in order to achieve the intended goals. Lastly, Colombia and the United States need to design complementary strategies that recognize that market forces - demand and supply - work together and therefore need to be addressed simultaneously. With so much money invested, so much at stake, and given the worldwide epidemic of illicit drug use, it is an imperative necessity to design and implement efficient and comprehensive drug control programs.
ALTERNATIVE DEVELOPMENTCOLOMBIADRUG CONTROLDRUG CONTROL POLICIESPOLICY ANALYSISPROGRAM EVALUATION
Kuhns, JosephHartman, JenniferPiazza, James
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 2010.
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