Cocaine and the Illegal Drug Market.

Essay by Pentiumxp February 2006

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The illegal drug market in the United States is one of the most profitable in the world. As such, it attracts the most ruthless, sophisticated, and aggressive drug traffickers. Drug law enforcement agencies are constantly trying to protect the country's borders. This proves to be very difficult considering how many different means of entering the country are available to drug traffickers and their organizations. Each year, according to the US Customs Service (USCS),

"60 million people enter the United States on more than 675,000 commercial and private flights. Another 6 million come by sea and 370 million by land. In addition, 116 million vehicles cross the land borders with Canada and Mexico. More than 90,000 merchant and passenger ships dock at US ports. These ships carry more than 9 million shipping containers and 400 million tons of cargo. Another 157,000 smaller vessels visit our many coastal towns."

Among this heavy trade and constant crossing of country borders, drug traffickers (most notably from Colombia, Mexico, and Canada) conceal illegal substances such as cocaine, heroin, marijuana, MDMA, and meth amphetamine for distribution in US Neighborhoods.

The focus of this paper will be on the trafficking of cocaine and marijuana (In the 2001 film BLOW, these were the two drugs that were addressed) and how it was first imported from other country's in the 1970's. The trade of these two drugs is very complex, and it is important to consider all aspects of it. From the peasants working the coca fields to the drug addicted pop stars is a very complicated and risky path. Get ready for an in depth look at drug trafficking, from peasant to pop star.

Before it can enter the United States cocaine must be cultivated and processed. Cocaine is derived from the leaves of the coca plant, which...