Politicians understand that ‘tough talk’ on drugs gains votes by tapping into the parents’ natural instincts to protect their children. A politician’s promise to eradicate drugs is a popular sentiment amongst parents who wish to shield their kids from drugs. It is interesting that the debate on drug policies is simply that, drug policies, without distinction for the different types but youths certainly realize that there is a difference. This is evidenced by the fact that the great majority of youths who use illegal drugs choose the least harmful. The debate combines heroin with cannabis when attempting to find a solution to the problem but different drugs include widely different issues which require widely different solutions. America’s war against recreational drugs is an example of good intentions gone terribly wrong. While this country squanders over billions of dollars annually on the efforts to stop illegal drugs, trafficking and use continue as the related violence escalates. Those that want to continue the ‘war’ say that it is well worth the effort and money to try to stop the trafficking and use of illegal drugs because the practice increases criminal activity causes more pregnancies, suicide and disease especially for teens.
The U.S. fights the ‘war on drugs’ by trying to inspect all cargo and passengers entering along any of the country’s 9,600 miles of land and sea borders, aboard any of the 200,000 ships, 900,000 aircraft, 135 million trucks, trains, buses or automobiles, in any of the 16 million containers or in some non-recorded boat, plane or other mode of entry (McCaffrey, 2005). It does this through search and seizure conducted by a variety of different agencies, depending upon the mode of transportation and port of entry. These agencies include the U.S. Customs Service, the U.S. Border Patrol and the Coast Guard as well as numerous state and local organizations and initiatives. Although it is reported that the