This approach was successful politically. According to Chomsky, public opinion polls taken in 1988 revealed that only 3 percent of those polled thought drugs were the number one problem in the United States, but by the end of 1989, 40-45 percent expressed that opinion (1).
In foreign policy, the Reagan and Bush administrations waged 'supply-side' campaigns in Latin American countries, such as Bolivia, Peru and Colombia, where the coca leaf and poppy plants, the source of marijuana, were grown, to induce local governments to eradicate such production. According to Carpenter, these efforts, and border interdiction efforts were notably unsuccessful: in Peru, for example, coca leaf production increased ten fold between 1980 and 1990 (3). Carpenter said "the United States is asking Latin American governments to do the impossible: wage war on a drug trade that now represents a vital part of their economies and around which have arisen powerful political constituencies" (4). He added "only 5 to 15 per cent of drug imports are seized by U.S. authorities. As in the case of eradicated drug acreage, losses of that magnitude are merely an annoyance to drug-trafficking organizations-part of the normal cost of doing business" (4). The United States garnered considerable ill will in Latin America for attempting to interfere in what were considered internal affairs of the nations involved.
Clinton Administration's Domestic War on Drugs
Clinton made a number of conflicting statements concerning the drug policy he would pursue if he became president. He promised to appoint a strong drug czar. He criticized Bush for giving priority to law enforcement to drug prevention, education and treatment. According to Curtis, Clinton said "we cannot jail our way out of this problem" (2). Once in office, Clinton equivocated over drug policy. He left open the drug czar position for several months, then appointed former New York City Police Commissi...
DRUG WAR AND CLINTON ADMINISTRATION. (2000, January 01). In LotsofEssays.com. Retrieved 12:41, October 30, 2014, from http://www.collegetermpapers.com/viewpaper/1303716807.html