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Copyright (c) 2002 The American Academy of Political and
Social Science
The Annals of The American Academy of Political and
Social Science

ARTICLE: Policy Paradox: Implications of U.S. Drug Control Policy for Jamaica

July, 2002

582 Annals 117


By Marlyn J. Jones


THE perception that ethnics and foreigners are primarily responsible for America's drug problems creates a nexus between drug and immigration policies. This nexus materializes as a dominant policy issue between the United States and its western hemispheric neighbors. This happens because the U.S. government considers illicit drugs and illegal immigration terrorist enterprises that undermine its national security.

Deportation has emerged as the panacea for drug and crime problems. Consequently, individuals, many of whom were convicted on drug-related offences, are being deported to drug-producing and/or transit nations that must be constantly cognizant of U.S.-imposed drug policy targets. The issue for U.S. policy consideration is how to manage tradeoffs between these goals. Instead of asking why the United States should keep deportable felons, I suggest that this question should be revised. Rather, one should ask whether the United States is achieving its articulated goals. And even if the goals are being achieved, are the consequences of the policy unjustifiable? Herein I argue that the supply reduction goals are not being achieved and the underlying premises of the supply reduction policy are unrealistic and unrealizable. A primary result is the displacement of drug-related crime and violence into, and the exacerbation of economic problems in, areas of least resistance.


A basic objective of U.S. counternarcotics policy is to bolster political will in the key source and transit countries. The intent is to prevent drug interests from becoming entrenched. As stated in the 2000 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR) ( ...
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