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Drugs and Democracy in the Caribbean

NCJ Number
Journal of Commonwealth and Comparative Politics Volume: 33 Issue: 3 Dated: (November 1995) Pages: 357-376
I L Griffith; T Munroe
Date Published
20 pages
This analysis of drug issues and their impacts on the Caribbean concludes that drugs present some clear and present dangers to democracy in the Caribbean.
The Caribbean drug phenomenon revolves around four separate but related issues: (1) drug production, (2) drug use and drug abuse, (3) drug trafficking, and (4) money laundering. These issues and the problems they produce exist in varying ways throughout the region. Political, economic, and social institutions when drug money can bribe and eliminate customs officials, police officers, prison guards, politicians, judges, bankers, jurors, witnesses, prosecutors, and voters. Several recent episodes exemplify the impacts of drugs in the region. It is also clear that the war on drugs is being lost both regionally and globally. Crucial policy issues related to this problem include the inadequate focus on demand reduction, the insufficient resources devoted to drug problems, the need to improve law enforcement effectiveness, crop and income substitution, the decriminalization option, political and constitutional reform, and the need for economic remodeling. The failure to make the necessary policy shifts will result in continued illegal immigration to the United States, drug-related crime in United States cities, and threats to democracy in the Caribbean. 50 references