What Would It Look Like If We Cared About Narcotics Trafficking? An Argument to Attack Narcotics Capital Rather than Labor

17 Pages Posted: 5 Apr 2011  

Mark William Osler

University of St. Thomas - School of Law (Minnesota)

Date Written: March 31, 2011

Abstract

As the failure of the “War on Drugs” becomes ever more obvious, alternative strategies are coming to the fore. This article adds to that movement with a novel suggestion: That we cause drug networks to fail as a business through the tactic of focusing resources on the seizure of cash flow traveling back to source countries.

To date, federal narcotics interdiction has centered on restricting the labor supply to drug traffickers by incarcerating street dealers, mules, and middle managers. It shouldn’t be surprising that this has not worked, because low-wage labor is in ready supply, and those workers are easily replaced. Instead, we should leverage the skills we have gained in interdicting cash flowing to terrorist organizations and apply it to drug networks. The result could be a self-financing law enforcement effort, a federal effort that is more consistent with the core values of federalism and a belief in markets, and an actual chance to succeed at the task of restricting the flow of narcotics.

Keywords: Narcotics, War on Drugs, Economic Solutions, Federalism

JEL Classification: K14, K42

Suggested Citation

Osler, Mark William, What Would It Look Like If We Cared About Narcotics Trafficking? An Argument to Attack Narcotics Capital Rather than Labor (March 31, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1800370 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1800370

Mark William Osler (Contact Author)

University of St. Thomas - School of Law (Minnesota) ( email )

MSL 400, 1000 La Salle Avenue
Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 55403-2005
United States
(254) 717-7032 (Phone)

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