Drug Crimes and Drug Control – Does it Work?

For thousands of years, drugs in different forms have been used across the globe – from opium to peyote, pot to cocaine, and everything in between. For the last 100 years, the United Nations (and organizations that preceded it) has been practicing drug control worldwide, in hopes of decreasing the amount of illegal drug production and trafficking that has been happening for centuries.

Many criminal defense cases in the U.S. today are based on some kind of drug-related charge, whether it be possession, trafficking, selling – or some combination thereof. Though drugs are widely used today, efforts by the UN have significantly decreased the amount of drugs produced and sold throughout the world.

Some examples of changes made in the last century are as follows:

  1. In the early 1900s, 41,000 tons of opium were produced, five times more than today
  2. 100 years ago, coca leaves were produced throughout the Andean region and in Asia – now three countries in the Andes produce all the world’s coca leaves.

For a full report on drug crime and production changes in the last century, view the UN report, 100 Years of Drug Control.


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